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24 Aug 2020

COVID-19 sees growth in wide-format printing

Many organisations have reimagined their products and services in light of the disruption caused by COVID-19, with lots of organisations discovering new potential and leveraging emerging opportunities. This is true for those in the print industry, with new research showing that Australia is leading the surge towards wide-format printing.[1]

This could be because of a general feeling of optimism among Australian printers and an understanding that digital transformation is likely to be key to a strong recovery. Innovating your products and services will help attract new customers and open up new revenue streams.

Being able to produce large-format materials like posters, wallpapers, and banners lets printers attract customers who are looking to promote their business in an impactful way. With a challenging business landscape in the wake of COVID-19, more businesses will likely be looking to stand out from the crowd.

There is also likely to be increased demand for wide-format printing because so many businesses need to produce signage and other materials in direct response to the coronavirus. This can include posters proclaiming that a business is COVID-Safe, signage instructing customers where to enter and exit, how to line up, and what pathways to follow within a shop, and more.

However, the demand for wide-format printing isn’t likely to be short-lived. Demand was ramping up even before COVID-19 hit, and is forecast to continue through at least 2027.[2] Wide-format printing can be more economical than other print methods such as screen printing, especially for a short-run job. So, if you offer wide-format printing as part of your product set, you could potentially attract new customers.

What to look for in a wide-format printer

There are a number of different wide-format printer options on the market. Choosing the right one can seem daunting at first. That’s why you need to work with an experienced partner who can guide you and help you choose the right press for your business needs.

Here are some of the ways your wide-format printer should help your business:

1. Quality

You need a wide-format printer that is fast, reliable, and consistent. Most importantly, it needs to deliver a quality outcome that will keep your customers coming back for more. That means superior colour management that stays consistent and lets you meet your customers’ brand guidelines without excess manipulation.

2. Speed

Customers tend to look for fast turnaround on jobs, especially when they’re trying to compete more effectively in the COVID-19 era. There’s no use producing a beautiful range of impactful posters if they’re not ready until your customer’s promotion is nearly finished. So, you need a press that will let you get jobs done quickly and reliably.

3. Volume

Like any other printer in your fleet, your wide-format printer will deliver a stronger return on investment if it’s constantly in use. Too much downtime means you’re not making money from your printer, so you need one that can handle a high volume without breaking down.

4. Support

Whether you’re new to wide-format printing or it’s been a consistent part of your business for years, choosing a machine from a vendor that provides ongoing and reliable support is essential. You need to be able to rely on your print vendor for training, maintenance, and to help you understand how to get the best possible results from your wide-format printer.

How Konica Minolta can help

Konica Minolta is laser-focused on providing outstanding customer service and support to clients in the production print industry. We partner with leading manufacturer, HP, to offer its wide-format inkjet printing systems. This includes its latex RTR printers, offering a distinct environmental advantage with water based inks that dry fast, are odour-free and may be safer for your employees when compared to eco-solvent, solvent, and UV-curable inks.

These HP latex RTR printers can be used safely, typically without any special extraction and the finished prints can be applied in sensitive environments such as schools, childcare centres, healthcare and aged care facilities, and more. Adding to high productivity, the printed output can be finished, packed, and despatched as soon as the printing is complete, as HP Latex prints do not need time to outgas like eco-solvent inks.

Regardless of where you’re at in your wide-format journey, at Konica Minolta, we can help you explore your options and position your business for growth both now and into the future.

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