How have screen-printing operations coped with changes in the market for point-of-purchase graphics? Our discussion with a panel of experts in this field reveals the latest market trends and strategies for remaining competitive as a P-O-P producer.
By Lori Leaman
Technology has drastically changed in the last several years. We are seeing more people entering the marketplace with the new digital technology. We have also seen a dramatic change with the lead times in relation to promotions and projects.
Control, consistency, color saturation, and line resolution in screen printing large, four-color-process graphics. Also, the growth of digital and its corresponding achievements, such as the resolution it achieves, ink adhesion to a variety of substrates, and the speeds in which the technology can produce graphic images.
SP: Which P-O-P applications do you see growing or declining in popularity? What are the buying patterns of your customers?
Large exterior banners in high quantities seem to continue to slide away. Sign ordinances and zoning restrictions have curbed the use of these products. Large interior banners and other big P-O-P pieces are still popular. As the big-box retailers increase their number of outlets, demand for large interior graphics follows that growth pattern. We have seen an increase in demand for high-quality, four-color-process production and 3-D displays that are thermoformed, heat bent, diecut, or routed to shape. Your ability to produce high-quality screen or digital printing will help you win market share in an industry where overall demand is not growing, according to industry experts.
What we see is direct to substrate. Lifestyle graphics seem to be becoming more and more prevalent, which include pictures of people, places, and things, and emphasis on a more healthy environment. We’re seeing a lot of localized or customized applications and graphics. The buying patterns of our customers are shorter runs, more targeted to either a region of the country or a group of people of a nationality, ethnic background, etc.
Growing is green-friendly products. Anything that has even the smallest positive effect on the environment is what customers are looking for. Declining are the real expensive cool things, such as lenticulars, holograms, specialty glow-inthe- dark or glitter inks, or any materials that have a unique feature to them. If it is exotic, most people don’t want to pay for it. Yet they always want something better and newer than what the other guy has.
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