Wide Format Printers Expected to be in Demand Post COVID-19
With the shutdown of the US economy due to the COVID-19 Pandemic many printers saw their business fall 40 to 50% or more. However, wide format printer sales, while down some, seemed to have fared better, with some shops even seeing their business expand. This raises questions as to what type of print will be in demand when business fully re-opens, and how do you best prepare for it?
Demand for Wide Format Printing Expected to Grow
Most print observers feel that as the economy begins to “open up” the demand for wide format products will continue its growth. Demand for social distancing decals, sneeze shields, window signs, roll up banner stands and wall graphics for instructions on COVID requirements will now be required in establishments previously closed.
These same observers believe traditional print will come back, but at a slower pace. Should a commercial printer expand their current wide format offering, or lacking current wide format capabilities, consider adding wide format as a new segment to their existing business?
9 Reasons to Consider Adding Wide Format to Your Printing Arsenal
- Wide format can compliment existing offset and digital printing
- Wide format is a natural fit for fulfillment services
- Wide format is relatively inexpensive when compared to expansion in other market segments
- Wide format is digital, and printers already have digital equipment
- Wide format requires understanding of color management, where commercial printers excel
- Wide format is typically purchased by same people that buy offset or digital printing
- The existing sales force can be trained to sell wide format
- Wide format sales growth is projected to exceed offset printing
- Wide format provides diversification in product offering, helping smooth out demand curves
What Wide Format Printers Best Meet Today’s Demands?
Turn time has been a key factor in most of the recent wide format sales, as government edicts have dictated the immediate use of signage and information. Much of this recent demand has required flexible roll media (floor graphics, windows, walls, banners).
With speed to market a major factor we believe HP Latex printers are the best option. Latex inks dry immediately, while eco solvent can take up to 24 to 48 hours to fully out-gas. Latex printed material can be laminated or shipped as soon as it comes off the printer.
Latex also has a higher scratch resistance than Eco-solvent or aqueous, eliminating the need for laminating on many projects, particularly short-term wall graphics. HP latex inks are aqueous and don’t require venting. Another advantage is all models in their latex portfolio are front loading, greatly reducing the floor space required.
The HP Portfolio of Printers
HP has a full line up of printers to suit every need. They all use the same ink, so all have the key advantages of latex. They vary in size, speed and cost. The faster the printer the more productive it is, and the higher the cost. These printers range from a low of under $10,000 for the HP Latex 115 Printer 54-inch up to approximately $24,000 for the HP Latex 570 Printer 64-inch with bulk ink.
Print & Cut Options Also Available
HP also provides Print and Cut options, where a printer and a cutter are sold with a pre-loaded integrated workflow program. This allows the job to be sent to both the printer and the cutter simultaneously, increasing efficiency and simplifying the process. Athens can help identify which model best fits your needs, providing up-dated pricing and cost comparisons between all models based on anticipated usage.
Athens can also provide sales and marketing information to help identify applications and end uses. Wide format is certainly not a fit for everyone, but Athens can provide answers to help make an informed decision.