Close up of an offset printing machine rollers during production Image Credit: Shutterstock

Highlights

  • Immersion is the name of the game 
  • Interactive, personalised experiences rule
  • Wide-format printing can be a rich source of profit

Technological, economic, consumer and demographic trends have all impacted numerous industries in different ways and those pressures have directly or indirectly begun to affect the signage and printing sectors.

“Changing market potential, consumer requirements and demographic-driven trends have put pressure on customers in retail, hotel, event and catering spaces to evolve and differentiate their offering,” says Ayman Aly, Marketing Manager at Canon Middle East. “The global retail sector, for instance, is subject to increasing pressure from e-commerce and changing shopper behaviour, which has led to retail spaces competing to create more immersive brand experiences.”

Changing market potential, consumer requirements and demographic-driven trends have put pressure on customers in retail, hotel, event and catering spaces to evolve and differentiate their offering.

- Ayman Aly, Marketing Manager, Canon Middle East

Ahmed ElRidi, CEO of digital signage solutions agency AIMS, agrees that immersion is now key for retailers and signs play an instrumental role in this.

“Digital signage, or as we call it, the big screen, is significantly enhancing the experience for customers by improving the store atmosphere since retailers use signage of any kind, not just digital, to contribute to the atmosphere. The content for this purpose is conceptual in nature, meant to give a certain vibe or mood to the outlet.”

Digital signage, or as we call it, the big screen, is significantly enhancing the experience for customers by improving the store atmosphere since retailers use signage of any kind, not just digital, to contribute to the atmosphere.

- Ahmed ElRidi, CEO, AIMS

Connected media

“At present digital screens and kiosks are shaping the industry in a diverse [manner], since they give an opportunity to present better visuals such as interactive videos and delivery of multiple messages through [similar] mediums compared to signage and graphics, as well as digital screens [that] can be monitored through any part of the world,” explains Muhammad Yousaf, Managing Director of iGraphics, which has production facilities and offices in Dubai and Sharjah.

ElRidi cites one particular trend he expects to take off in the outdoor segment in the near future: “High-resolution, large-scale digital LED billboards and computer-controlled façade lighting on buildings.”

At present digital screens and kiosks are shaping the industry in a diverse [manner], since they give an opportunity to present better visuals such as interactive videos and delivery of multiple messages through [similar] mediums compared to signage and graphics, as well as digital screens [that] can be monitored through any part of the world

- Muhammad Yousaf, Managing Director, iGraphics

Formatting

Looking specifically at wide-format printing, visitors to this year’s SGI Dubai will see Epson’s SureColor SC-S80610 printer on display. The company says the device — which can print everything from simple signage to high-end displays, light boxes, canvas and wall paper — has been designed with professional users in mind.

Duncan Ferguson, Vice-President, Professional Printing and Robotics, Epson Europe, will participate in a panel discussion on the second day of the show to discuss the future of the printing and signage industry.

For Aly, print service providers will need to reinvent themselves in order to thrive. “Wide-format printing is a profitable and complementary product offering for print service providers seeking new opportunities and higher margins, as signage will continue to play a major role in effectively promoting products and services.”

The writing’s not on the wall, after all.