Digital Print Opportunities for Commercial and Residential Interiors
Last February, I joined the PRINTING United team at the SPIRE Conference 2023 in La Quinta, California, to present to attendees Digital Print Opportunities for Commercial and Residential Interiors.
In my presentation, I began by addressing three basic questions printers often ask about products interior designers are looking to specify.
- What types of materials?
- What types of process?
- What about it is sustainable?
Interior designers work with a wide range of materials when designing a space. Digital printing capabilities have grown quickly in recent years. Many of the materials they work with can be printed to add pattern and interest.
Some examples of material they are looking for are:
- Fabrics, both woven and coated
- Acoustic walls and dividers
- Plexiglass and glass dividers
- Flooring solutions such as vinyl flooring, carpet, and rugs
- Laminates for tabletop or walls
- Wood and wood veneer
- Window films
- Wallpaper and Wallcoverings
Keep in mind, one of the primary concerns of every interior designer is whether the material passes the necessary testing for the space they are building. These requirements vary according to industry. For example, a material used in a senior living facility needs to perform differently than a material used in a theater. If you are going to sell to interior designers, it is best to have all technical information available at the outset. It will likely be their first question for you.
Interior designers are excited to try different products and incorporate new techniques into their projects. Does your print shop have additional processing capabilities that could enhance the customization of a product beyond printing? For example, maybe you can cut a shape out of printed wood or cut seat cushions that can be sent straight for sewing. Some print shops offer designers installation capabilities or have a network of print shops that support locations locally.
Some more examples of processes that would be applicable are:
- 3D inks
- Fabric on walls and ceilings
- Rolled goods and sewn goods
- Wood or metal fabrication
Whatever you can offer designers to help bring their vision to life really helps get designers excited about the possibilities of customization.
Most designers have moved beyond being satisfied with just the word: sustainable. They’re alert to greenwashing and want to know exactly how you define sustainability. They also know that sustainability can be addressed in different ways. For example, they may have a client who wants materials to be sourced as locally as possible and not travel far distances. Another may want materials that can be recycled at the end of its life cycle. A common thread is that interior designers want transparency so they can make the best decision for their business and project.
Some examples of ways to define sustainability:
- Fibers being used, natural or recycled synthetic
- The life cycle of the item
- Energy being used in production
I hope my presentation was informative to those who attended SPIRE. I’m happy I was able to share a bit of my presentation with readers. SPIRE was a unique opportunity to network with others in the industry and get inspired by a range of presenters. If we missed a chance to connect there, feel free to reach out via LinkedIn. Thanks so much to the Printing United team for including me. I’m looking forward to joining them again at the Wide-format Summit this summer.
Kristen Dettoni is the founder and CEO of Design Pool LLC, the only pattern library created exclusively for interior designers. Since 1996, Kristen has worked for mills throughout North America, designing fabrics for automobiles, furniture, and home furnishings. She developed the first sustainable upholstery fabric for office interiors, the first sustainable upholstery fabric for automotive interiors, and was awarded a patent for automotive suspension seating. Kristen believes strongly in the power of good design to transform our environments and experiences.