See 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.”
“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.