2018 State of the Visual Communications Industry Report
There has been an upbeat buzz around the visual communications/wide-format sign and graphics market for several years now. Many print providers are seeing double-digit growth year after year. Walk any of the shows dedicated to the market, and the enthusiasm and energy from exhibitors and attendees alike is almost palpable.
At the same time, we’ve watched other areas of the graphics arts industry struggle to maintain and grow year-over-year. Industry news sources continue to report on graphics arts businesses going under and/or getting sold to larger print entities with more stable profit sheets.
But what makes wide-format print providers so different from their commercial print brethren? And how does their enthusiasm continue to contribute to this dynamic industry?
Earlier in 2018, Wide-Format Impressions and NAPCO Research surveyed our audience to find out how the visual communications market was faring overall. It was of little surprise to find that survey respondents were overwhelmingly optimistic about the current state of the wide-format industry and opportunity. Eighty-seven percent of respondents reported they were optimistic, with 45% of that number being highly optimistic.
A large part of this optimism is due to growth. Two-thirds of respondents reported increasing sales and volume growth in wide-format products and services in the past year, and more than 75% expect that trend to continue in the coming year.
Survey respondents reported many reasons for sales growth and overall optimism, from technology innovations enabling unique and more affordable applications to new media and inks enabling any surface to be used as a marketing conduit. Here is a sampling of respondents’ answers to an open-ended question on why they were optimistic about the visual communications market:
Denise Gustavson is the Editorial Director and Special Projects Editor for the Printing & Packaging, and Publishing Group, which includes Printing Impressions, packagePRINTING, In-plant Graphics andWide-Format Impressions magazines, among other brands. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of Wide-Format Impressions.