4 Ways Wide-Format Inkjet Is Evolving
The print industry has been changing in many exciting ways, and wide-format is no exception. As these evolutions continue, you can expect wide-format printers’ toolkits to expand exponentially, ushering in whole new worlds of creative possibilities. Here are four ways wide-format inkjet is evolving, and what they could mean for your shop:
- Advancing ink technology. New and evolving types of inks could significantly expand the types of substrates that inkjet can print on. Particularly, the expansion of inkjet colors from primarily CMYK plus light cyan or magenta and a photo black (maxing out at seven or eight colors) to more than 12, the inclusion of orange, green and white inks can bring a wealth of new trends to the printing industry by opening up new creative, innovative possibilities.
- More diverse substrates, now more accessible. Many printers, inspired by strides in wide-format inkjet’s versatility, are embracing incredible new substrates. Thanks to advanced, specialized inks and enhanced printhead technology, the industry’s options for unique substrates have grown considerably, to the point that printers can now utilize virtually every surface to market their customers’ products and deliver messaging in interesting, engaging ways. With these advancements, printers and print buyers are allowing their imaginations and their applications to expand, unencumbered by the limitations of traditional substrates.
- Away from solvent, toward latex and UV. In recent years, we’ve seen a major shift toward both latex and UV inkjet, specifically for production-level wide-format. Solvent and even eco-solvent are seeing less and less use as the flexibility and diversity of substrates for latex and UV inks have caught up to market demand. While many still use solvent for specific applications, like vehicle wraps, the broad applicability and ease of use of both latex and UV have driven those two to be the primary technologies being bought in the marketplace today. UV’s fast cure times further help PSPs keep up with quick-turn requests, or to complete more jobs in less time and drive greater revenue.
- Less about the device, more about what’s around it. Expect the next five years to be more about “How do I get more out of the devices I buy?” and less about “What’s the latest, greatest device I can add to my lineup?” To maximize investments, look for printers to offer more to customers and grow their businesses. Expect print providers to uncover ways to be more efficient in producing standout, eye-catching applications, with investments in the form of more seamless workflow software, improving ink technologies and increasingly diverse substrate selections.
The future is coming, and it is flexibility empowering innovation. Are you ready?