Photographer Creates Single-Image Art Photography Wallcoverings

In late 2014, celebrity photographer and designer Don Flood launched his first collection of FLIEPAPER art photography wallcoverings produced by Astek Wallcoverings. He followed that with the Palm Springs collection earlier this year.

Graphic and sophisticated, each FLIEPAPER art photography wallcovering is symphony of color, texture, and design with an emphasis on scale. Designs range from immense florals and bold textures to quirky, unexpected found objects. FLIEPAPER designs are digitally printed using an eco-friendly process and can be customized in color and design.

FLIEPAPER by Don Flood (
FLIEPAPER by Don Flood (

Flood’s FLIEPAPER designs have appeared in environments as varied as a high-end café in Santa Monica to a private elevator in a Redondo Beach luxury home.

Quartz art wallcovering
FLIEPAPER by Don Flood (

At the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in May, Flood introduced his newest line of art photography wallcoverings called BIGS. Images in the BIGS collection include amethysts, minerals, crystals, sea coral, abalone, roses, sunflowers and butterflies.

FLIEPAPER art wallcovering
Crystal is part of the new BIGS collection of FLIEPAPER (

Inspired by the single-image wallcoverings of 1960s and 1970s interiors, Flood devised a proprietary process for shooting each subject in ultra-high-resolution and at very close range. He then had the images printed on a variety of new digitally printable wallcovering materials, including mylar. The results lend themselves to nearly any interior application from residential living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms to commercial environments such as restaurants, office lobbies, and hotel public areas.

art wallcovering
This close-up photo of coral is part of the BIGS collection of FLIEPAPER. (

“We are very excited by what Don has created in BIGS,” said Aaron Kirsch, founder and CEO of Astek. “FLIEPAPER has proven popular with retail customers, interior designers, art directors and architects. It combines highly artistic, high-resolution images of beautiful things combined with the practical applications allowed by the material itself. We love partnering with Don, and we think BIGS will prove highly successful with both the residential and commercial marketplace.”

“When single image installations were in vogue some decades ago, the subject matter was usually a sunset or treescape, and the resolution was incredibly low,” notes Flood. “Inspired by an interiors shot I came across from the late ‘60s, I began to experiment with various images at extremely high resolution. Given the printing technology and materials available to us today, BIGS became a reality very quickly. I am excited to show how beautifully a high-resolution, single-image wallcovering transforms a space.”

art wallcovering of butterfly wing
This extreme close-up of a butterfly wing can be produced as an art wallcovering through FLIEPAPER (

Surface Imaging Blends Art, Technology, Entrepreneurship

The rapid adoption of digital printing technologies and the rise of Internet of Things are creating exciting opportunities for entrepreneurial designers.

The increased use of all forms of digital printing is creating a demand for short runs of custom-designed wallcoverings, textiles, ceramics, and glassware. Plus, the ability to “print” electronics and sensors on thin, flexible films has made it possible to design interactive fashion, sportswear, wallpaper, and window films.

Once you learn more about the technologies and huge range of materials used in “surface imaging,” you will quickly see that the possibilities for creative new products and designs are limited only by your imagination.

Investors in digital printing equipment are looking for well-trained and creative designers to help them get the most from their equipment.

To get involved in this burgeoning field, check out the graduate-level Surface Imaging program at Philadelphia University. The University is currently accepting new degree candidates for a one-year program that begins in May, 2016.

The Surface Imaging program at Philadelphia University is a unique graduate program for designers and artists who want to bring their creativity to life through state-of-art digital printing technologies.

Surface Imaging at PhilaU from Philadelphia University on Vimeo.

Working in the Center for Excellence in Surface Imaging, you will learn how to apply your painting, drawing, photography and printmaking skills to fabrication projects that involve state-of-the-art digital printing and additive material deposition and subtraction-printing technologies.

The curriculum includes courses in surface imaging design, printing technology,  and material and polymer science. To find the best opportunities within the fast-growing digital-printing industry, you will also study entrepreneurship and develop a business plan that integrates design, applied engineering, and innovative business models.

The Center for Excellence of Surface Imaging has been supported by international imaging industries, including printer manufacturers, ink formulators, and software developers.

Upon graduation, you will be prepared for a leadership role in developing new products for the architecture, interior design, textile manufacturing, fashion apparel, and home industries.

To apply, act quickly. According to Hitoshi Ujiie of the Center for Excellence in Surface Imaging, “While we have a rolling enrollment system, our preferred deadline for applications is February 1, 2016.”


MS Surface Imaging, Philadelphia University

Application Requirements

Handbook Shows How to Design Your Own Fabric, Wallpaper, or Gift Wrap

To encourage novices in surface design, Spoonflower has published “The Spoonflower Handbook: A DIY Guide to Designing Fabric, Wallpaper, and Gift Wrap.”

Not long ago, few artists ever had the chance to design fabrics and wallpaper because printing even a few yards required a significant financial investment. Today, thanks to digital, print-on-demand printing, anyone with a computer, Internet connection, and idea can upload a file and have their design printed on a yard of fabric, wallpaper, or wrapping paper.

Spoonflower, a North Carolina-based start-up, prints short runs of fabrics, peel-and-stick wallpapers, and wrapping-papers for hundreds of thousands of creative people worldwide. Spoonflower customers then incorporate their printed designs into thousands of creative projects for the home or wardrobe.

For example, the handbook shows you how to use digitally printed materials to make:

  • A world traveler pillowcase with map designs
  • A stuffed gnome toy
  • Pet silhouette hankies
  • Zippered fabric pouches
  • Autumn leaf table wrap
  • Typographic wrapping paper
  • Food for thought table runner
  • Photo panel wall art
  • Damask shower curtain
  • Portrait pillows
  • Infinity scarf
  • Color-chip lampshade
  • Family portraits necktie
  • Coloring wallpaper and desk wrap

Designs on peel-and-stick wallpaper can be used to personalize your laptop, tablet, phone, and other flat surfaces.

Written in easy-to-understand language, this beautifully illustrated, 207-page book covers everything from design equipment and software to working with photos, colors, scans, repeats, and vector files. It talks about sources of inspiration and explains how to source images and use them legally.

The book was written by Spoonflower co-founder Stephen Fraser with Judi Ketteler and Becka Rahn. Jenny Hallengren provided the photographs. It was published by the Steward, Tabori & Chang imprint of Abrams.

According to Fraser, the project ideas and information in the Spoonflower Handbook can help everyone from quilters and crafty parents to professional artists and aspiring fashion designers: “We set out to create the most approachable book possible…This book is about the joy of making something mingled with the challenge of learning new things.”


The Spoonflower Handbook: A DIY Guide to Designing Fabric, Wallpaper & Gift Wrap with 30+ Projects


Imagine What You Could Design With 3D or Interactive Wallpaper

DESIGNERS. Digital printing has empowered you to bring new levels of customization to retail, office, and residential spaces. Two recently publicized projects might enable you to do even more.

DEEP: 3D Wallpaper from twenty2

In a partnership with students at Pratt Institute, the wallpaper-design firm twenty2 developed DEEP, a curated collection of 3D wallpapers. The wallpaper-design project was part of a graduate design seminar on interactive pattern and ornament created by Yale Architect and Pratt Institute professor Sarah Strauss.

As mentors to the program, Krya Hartnett and Robertson Hartnett of twenty2 encouraged students to push the design limits of pattern repeat and dimension. Some of the most innovative designs from the students have been brought to life and are printed in the twenty2’s Litchfield, Connecticut studio.

Big, bold blossoms fill your space when you don 3D glasses.  by twenty2 brings big bold blooms into your space when you don the 3D glasses. ©2004 twenty2
Big, bold blossoms fill your space when you don 3D glasses. This design was created by LuzElena Wood and is available from twenty2. ©2004 twenty2


Smart Wallpaper Include Printed Electronics

According to a story posted on International Business Times, researchers at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have developed printed electronics that can transform walls into digital devices that include miniature speakers, microphones, switches, and sensors.

With the electronics printed on your wallpaper,  you can talk out loud to command your devices. The walls will then transmit your request or ask for further instructions.

Smart wallpaper could be helpful for elderly people who are living alone. People who fall and hurt themselves can ask the walls to contact the right people for help.

NTU Professor Joseph Chang told IBTimes UK that “Essentially we can print full, complex electronic circuits on any substrate, including paper, aluminum, and plastic film.”

Imagine what you could design with electronics on those types of materials. For example, residential windows could be overlaid with transparent film that includes circuits. Milk cartons could let you know when the milk is expired. Smart patches could monitor your heart rate or other vital signs.

What would you do with 3D wallpaper, smart wallpaper, or flexible materials printed with electronics?


Smart Wallpaper Uses Printed Electronics to Transform Your Walls into Big iPhone


Would You Use 3D Wallpaper at Home?

Architect: Ten of Our Favorite Products from the ICFF


Can Custom-Designed Wallcoverings Hit it Big? Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

BeatlesWallpaper5-FramedSee this aged print? It’s a scrap of Beatles wallpaper that I have framed in my home office. It brings back fond memories of my Beatle-maniac tween years when my Mom let me cover one whole wall of my bedroom with Beatles wallpaper. I don’t need to keep more than this scrap, because this cheesy graphic was repeated all over the wall.

Imagine how much cooler my Beatles wall could have looked if today’s digital printing technology and inkjet-printable wallcovering materials had been available in the ’60s.

Previous posts on this blog have discussed how designers and photographers are capitalizing on the potential to create custom wallcoverings and photo murals. Now, digital-printing leaders such as HP are making it easier for more print-service providers to produce custom wallcoverings.

HP’s goal is to enable everyone from small, local print-service providers to large wallcovering manufacturers to take advantage of the growing interest in customized décor. Growth-focused printing companies that once specialized in printing documents or photographs may soon be able to print custom wall décor for commercial, retail, and residential spaces.

At the Heimtextil 2014 show in Frankfurt, Germany, HP announced an expanded suite of digital printing solutions for wall decorations. The HP digital printing solution consists of a modular range of design software, media, HP Latex Printing Technology, finishing options, and industry certifications.

For HP’s booth, industrial and interior designer Markus Benesch set up a wall décor showroom.

“My goal is to encourage spectators to think outside the box and see the unusual ways in which digital printing can dramatically alter a space,” said Benesch. “HP digital printing technologies create a world in which designers no longer need to print large batches of wall décor at once. Instead, they can be fast as light—moving immediately from idea to design to production to delivery.”

Heimtextil HP stand 2-600p
Digitally printed wallpapers designed by Markus Benesch were displayed in the HP booth at the Heimtextil 2014 show in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo courtesy of HP.

“The wall decoration market is on the verge of major change enabled by the speed, quality, and versatility of HP Latex digital printing technology,” said Joan Perez Pericot, worldwide marketing director, Large Format Sign and Display Division.

At the show, HP demonstrated HP WallArt, a cloud-based web service that helps simplify the design, visualization and production of customized wallcoverings. Introduced at Heimtextil 2013, the HP WallArt service is already in use by more than 1100 customers in 66 countries.

Some of the new features include:

  • a new alliance with the global stock photography company Fotolia
  • integration with customers’ online storefronts for a customized and branded web-to-print solution that streamlines quotations, billing, and managed information systems
  • a free HP WallArt applications for iPad to provide real-time, interactive design and accurate previews of the finished wall layout

Users of the HP WallArt solution can showcase their wallcovering installations with the global design community on the HP for Designers Facebook page.

If you have designs and art that would look great on more walls, now is a good time to start thinking outside the frame.


HP Solutions for Wallcoverings

HP WallArt

HP for Designers Facebook page


Boutique Wallpaper Designer Teams up With Lifestyle Photographer

Custom Wallpaper Opens Up New Avenues for Creativity for Graphic Designers

Spoonflower Lets You Custom Design Wallpaper



Interior Designer Offers Custom Furniture Skins and Wallcoverings

San Francisco-based interior designer Maloos Anvarian specializes in “modern furniture with a history.” She likes taking styles of historical importance and bringing them into the 21st century. That might mean furniture that could be described as Contemporary Baroque, or an interior that conjures up the star- crossed feel of Country French kissed by Hollywood Regency.

Anvarian recently announced three products created with 21st-century printing technology and the types of specialized materials that you can see displayed at the annual expo of the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA). DWM | Maloos offers:

  • custom-designed vinyl skins for furniture
  • stock (aka prêt-à-porter) wallpaper patterns 
  • “couture” varieties of wallcoverings

The furniture skins are made from a very pliable, yet durable printable vinyl. When applied to the intricate surfaces of a piece of furniture, the printed vinyl fundamentally alters the personality of the furniture — much like an iPhone skin personalizes a phone or printed graphics change the look of a a car or truck.

All skins are designed and produced in-house at DWM Maloos. They are being promoted as a way to make old furniture look new again.

Before the skin was applied.
Before the skin was applied.
















After the wrap was applied
After the wrap was applied

The new wallpaper is available in two versions. The pre-designed (prêt-à-porter) option is available in more than 25 designs, all of which can be ordered in custom colors. According to Anvarian, the stock versions “are designed to be as bold and stylish as good clothes.”


For the personalized (couture) wallpaper, Anvarian first takes the client’s specifications and supplied photograph, sketch, patterns, or other graphic. She will then lay it out in a wallpaper design that takes into account the size and features of a specific wall or room.

Both options can be printed on panels or rolls in widths of 24 or 50 inches. The 50-inch width means fewer seams and a more efficient installation. Clients can choose to have the designs printed on pre-pasted paper as well as fabric, all of which are available in eco-friendly wallpaper options.

All wallpaper is printed in small batches, which allows for greater flexibility and consistent quality.


DWM | Maloos Furniture Skins

DWM | Maloos Custom Wallpaper


Custom Wallpaper Opens New Avenues for Graphic Designers

Guest Post by Chris Garrett

Most people don’t get excited when they hear about wallpaper, and for good reason. For decades wallpaper has been associated with drab rooms, awful color, peeling walls, and designs that cause retina bleeding. However, the awful wallpapers of yesteryear don’t need to be featured in modern homes, businesses, or studios anymore. Digitally printed custom wallpaper can feature any design, photo, or theme that you’d like to see featured on a wall or other surface.

A Dynamic Change in the Home

While solid colors or repeating designs are still the norm when it comes to interior walls in the home, seeing murals or unique designs are becoming more common. I remember a middle-school friend  who was a huge Washington State fan. His parents paid a painter to come in and paint a beautiful mural of a cougar on the wall above his bed. While this was a jealously-inducing addition to his 13 year old friends, there were limitations to the paint.

Time and Resources: Even just painting a room a solid color is a chore and a half. You have to tape, put plastic down, edge corners, strain to reach the high places, and dedicate a solid chunk of time to painting even the smallest room in the house. For a custom design or mural, you have to hire an artist who also has to do the above-mentioned tasks. Custom wallpaper can be applied much faster than a painted mural and fewer items are needed to install it.

Things Change: My friend has since moved out and his room is now holds barely used exercise equipment. Painting over the mural is easier said than done because you have to match the wall color which has since faded – so now the entire room or wall has to be painted.  Repositionable wallpaper (remember the Fathead commercials?) is an easy solution to this. Simply peel off the design and move it somewhere else, store it, or replace it.

Artistic Limitations: Having a one-of-a-kind mural is cool, but it can be difficult to find someone who has the required skill and is willing to do the job within your budget. Printers don’t care how detailed or elaborate the piece is; the print quality will be top-notch. Homeowners can hire a graphic designer to create unique visuals for their walls, or submit photographs or artwork to the printing company, Most printing firms offer a choice of wallcovering materials for printing your design.

Custom Wallpaper in Businesses

It’s become much more common to see custom wallpaper in commercial establishments where businesses can use the custom printing to highlight products, services, or brand identity. Some of the most common establishments are restaurants, colleges, sports venues, and offices.

This is where a graphic designer can really get involved. As businesses look to brand themselves, or look to incorporate their brand into their wallpaper, top-notch graphic artists can step up and produce eye popping work. Check out these examples.

Rangers Lobby: The Texas Rangers wanted their lobby to capture the feeling and excitement of opening day so they made it appear like the back wall was a view from a stadium entrance. Notice how even the elevator doors have printing on them to keep the picture largely uninterrupted.

Photo courtesy of MegaPrint

Eye-Catching Branding: Forever Yogurt kept their hot pink theme going without being overpowering along their back wall. They also proudly display their logo and company name which is artistically highlighted by the doodle like cityscape, which is a nice transition from the corrugated metal below. This is a great example of bold graphic design being used in tandem with custom wallpaper.

Photo courtesy of Megaprint
Photo courtesy of Megaprint

If You Want More…

I realize for the detail oriented I may have raised more questions than I’ve answered. You can find more information about the nitty-gritty details such as paper stock, photo resolution, and materials from this custom wallpaper FAQs page. Custom wallpaper can be applied to a host of different areas, not just walls, and you can get creative with its application and design more so than paint or stock wall paper.

Chris Garrett is a freelance writer for the large format printing and custom wallpaper expert, and blogs on the topics of design and printing.


MegaPrint Custom Wallpaper

FAQs about Custom Wallpaper