In the wallcovering industry, digital printing is the newest and fast growing process and is a technology that involves artwork or photography being transmitted by a computer, and then printed directly onto the product’s surface – in our case the wallcovering material substrate. The chart below describes the differences and advantages of Digital printing compared to older printing methods.

FeatureDigital PrintingAnalog/Screen/Surface/Gravure Printing
Machine CostLess expensive / better qualityMore expensive / reserved for large print runs
Tooling/Origination CostsLess Expensive / better precisionMore expensive / inherent limitations
Production speedQuicker set up and turnaroundMore complex set up and make ready cost
Production run sizeSmall customized runs possibleScale of economy requires large production runs
Finished InventoryNone – print to orderInventory required by manufacturer and retailer
Ink costHigh – double that of AnalogLow – half that of Digital
Eco FriendlyAll digital inks are latex or UV eco-friendlySome inks in use are solvent based/non eco friendly
Substrate CostHigher than Analog when bought non bulkLower that of Digital due to bulk purchasing
Substrate TypesWider range – Non-woven / fabric/solar shadesNarrower range of substrate types
Color & Design RangesEnormous design & content rangesLimited design ranges offered principally via retailer/on line
Batch Shading #’sNot requiredNecessary as batch to batch color variations often occur
Image/repeat sizeNo limit. No design restriction on scale or colorCannot exceed the print screen/cylinder circumference
InstallPre-cut matched panels – easy installationNecessary to cut and match designs
RemovalAll substrates are easily removedSeveral substrates experience removal difficulties
Market growth/sizeHigh growth $2.53B 2018 to $7.74B 2023*Declining consumption/demand/market

* Source: Cision PR Newswire