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.


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