Thursday, 19 December 2019 13:49

Walls come alive with digital printing

    Digital printing offers so many creative benefits for interior decor, as Michelle Dellow, Product Manager at Papergraphics, explains.

    When you look at a blank wall, what do you see? Is there a rush of ideas that allow your creativity to run wild? Do you then come back to earth with a bump when you think about the designs and styles that might actually be possible?

    In the past, we’ve been at the mercy of traditional printing techniques that, in the main, offer a range of repeating patterns and designs restricted by colour. However, all of this has changed with the growth of digital printing. The print and design you choose can utterly transform a space, and creativity now no longer needs to be restricted by a print run.

    Bring new energy to an office, breathe fresh life into a hotel or add a splash of brand personality to a retail space; whatever the motivation, customisation and personalisation is a hugely desirable and important aspect for all types of interior design projects, from hospitality, leisure and retail markets to public spaces and residential interiors. Within these market sectors, digital printing comes into its own, offering creative possibilities to convey branding or create a particular look and feel, stimulate atmosphere or even craft experiential environments. Establish a space that is truly unique for each individual client.

    Why digital?

    Digital large-format printing, as opposed to traditional print methods, offers far greater autonomy of design. Traditional analogue printing processes, such as gravure or screen-printing, impose limitations for designers because your pattern or design can only be as large as the circumference of the print cylinder (typically between 53 and 80cm). These methods also require a separate cylinder to be used for each colour used in the design – obviously posing cost implications for multi-coloured artwork, but these methods also have a total maximum number of cylinders (colours) that can be used for one design. So, when using these traditional print methods, on a (not even very large) wall, your design would have to be limited in colour and a repeating pattern or design, to cover the space.

    However, with digital printing, there are no such boundaries and restrictions; you could produce a single, giant photographic mural on one whole wall, or a bespoke work of art or graphic design; your design can be as large in scale and use as many colours as desired, with no need to repeat. It’s not possible to realise this total creative freedom by any other method of print.

    Digitally printed wallcoverings are an endlessly versatile, reliable and high-quality medium for designers to work with. They can be installed quickly, are simple to maintain, and can be updated when required without damage to the wall surface.

    Digitally printed wallcoverings, such as those within Papergraphics’ Digimura 2.1 range, offer further creative benefits to interior designers. Available in different embossed finishes, these wallcoverings can serve to enhance artwork and even become part of the design, adding depth and texture, creating a true ‘interiors’ quality look and feel. As an added benefit, these textures can also work with printed designs as a clever, practical solution for masking uneven wall surfaces such as can be encountered in renovation projects.

    Alongside the creative possibilities, quality digital wallcoverings also present significant practical advantages to interior designers and specifiers. The significant advancements in digital printing technology in recent years make digital wallcoverings a fast and cost-effective option for interior decor. Even when printed, wallcoverings offer superior durability even in high-traffic areas, being resistant to marking and scuffing, and can be cleaned with a suitable mild detergent. The Digimura 2.1 range also contains an anti-fungal/anti-microbial biocide, adding to the list of robust credentials and making this particular wallcovering range suitable even for healthcare environments.

    While providing an exciting medium to consider for design possibilities, there are some important considerations that design professionals should take into account when selecting an appropriate material to specify wall decorations. All products supplied for hanging onto interior walls by means of an adhesive are covered by the Construction Product Regulations EN 15102:2007+A1:2011 and must conform to strict Building Regulations and fire safety standards. Those products that are fit for purpose and fully meet these criteria will carry a CE mark and Declaration of Performance.

    When installed correctly, a true digital wallcovering can truly reinvigorate a space to bring colour, individuality and beautiful depth of design to otherwise under-utilised and potentially bland spaces. Designers have the capability to use digitally printed wallcoverings to enhance an interior environment to the benefit of occupants, whether it be for the purpose of reinforcing a brand and image, or simply to make an indoor space that much more exciting and interesting to the eye.

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