Company showcases new tools for print service providers
and wallcovering manufacturers at Heimtextil 2014.
The first major international trade show of the year saw HP participate at Heimtextil 2014, in Frankfurt, Germany, 8 – 11 January, billed as the biggest international trade fair for home and contract textiles. The company showcased an expanded digital printing solution for wall decorations designed to help print service providers (PSPs) and wallcovering manufacturers capture new revenue with high-value wall décor applications for commercial, retail and residential spaces.
HP’s digital printing solution consists of a modular range of design software, media, HP Latex Printing Technology, finishing options and industry certifications. The company believes this scalable solution enables customers ranging from small PSPs to large wallcovering manufacturers to take the growing customisation trend to the wall with unique or short-run wallpapers, wallcoverings, wall murals and canvas prints.
At the exhibition HP demonstrated the expanded suite, including new content, design and mobility features for HP WallArt as well as updated finishing and media options. A special feature was a digital wall décor showroom at HP’s exhibition booth created by renowned industrial and interior designer Markus Benesch. Its aim was to bring to life the creativity and innovation made possible with digital printing and the complete HP solution.
“My goal is to encourage spectators to think outside of the box and see the unusual ways in which digital printing can dramatically alter a space, as well as the design workflow,” said Markus Benesch, owner, Markus Benesch Creates. “HP digital printing technologies create a world where designers no longer need to print large batches of wall décor at once, but where they can be fast as light, moving immediately from idea to design to production to delivery.
Benesch explained further: “Our mission is to connect spaces and objects with people, weaving a new functional aesthetic and sensorial fabric into everyday life. My walls are bold messengers of courage, fun and creativity. In a rapidly changing world, technology is evolving constantly. For this reason HP digital printing technology is the perfect chisel and hammer to shape my playful graphic worlds. As a curious designer who has seen this industry develop, I can assure you: the future of digital wallcovering is now."
Joan Pérez Pericot, worldwide marketing director, Large Format Sign and Display Division, HP, commented: “The collaboration with Markus Benesch at this year’s Heimtextil truly demonstrates the power and possibilities of digital printing. Current trends in design focus on unique design and customisation from the customer. With HP technology, designers can produce an endless array of colours with no limits to scale and no restrictions on repeating patterns, expanding the opportunity for designers and wallcovering manufacturers to differentiate themselves with high end collections.”
New décor offerings
HP WallArt is an easy-to-use, cloud-based web service that helps simplify the design, visualisation and production of customised wallcoverings. Introduced at Heimtextil 2013, HP says the tool is already in use by more than 1,100 customers in 66 countries. Following this successful trial, HP WallArt will remain free for new and existing HP Latex Printing Technology customers.
New features for HP WallArt include:
- A new alliance with global stock photography company Fotolia, giving users easy access to a wide variety of high quality, professional images, designs and artwork.(3)
- Integration with customers’ online storefronts for a customised and branded web-to-print solution that streamlines quotations, billing and managed information systems.
- A free HP WallArt application for iPad®, available through Apple’s App Store, which provides real-time, interactive design and accurate previews of the finished wall layout.
- Easier production of canvas prints, including a multi-panel canvas option and automatically generated installation instructions.
Additional new components for the HP digital printing solution for wall décor include:
- HP PVC-free Durable Suede Wall Paper, a sustainable wallcovering substrate for high-traffic commercial areas that meets American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) F793-Type II certification when printed using HP Latex Inks. Expected to be available from BMG in spring 2014, this new media option is compatible with common adhesives and has been engineered with ColorPRO Technology to deliver excellent colour.
- Certifications to help meet international wallcovering industry standards. HP Latex inks have been tested and certified by authorised third party labs and are compatible with industry standards, such as the EN233 standard for washability and colourfastness, the Euro class standard, Class B for flame retardancy and the CE Mark. These tests have been performed on a range of substrates from leading media vendors.
- Automatic winding systems from Fotoba International, which can reduce labour costs and improve efficiency by providing ready-to-pack wallcovering rolls directly from the cutting device. Two models are now available: the REW104 for media up to 104 cm (40.9 in) and the REW160 for media up to 160 cm (62.9 in).
“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 & Display Division, HP. “Working with industry-leading vendors, HP provides innovative tools and solutions across the entire workflow to help wallcovering manufacturers and print service providers differentiate their offering, reach new customer segments, push creative boundaries and ultimately bring in new revenue.”
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