How have screen-printing operations coped with changes in the market for point-of-purchase graphics? Our discussion with a panel of experts in this field reveals the latest market trends and strategies for remaining competitive as a P-O-P producer.
By Lori Leaman
Short-run, four-color-process jobs are more economical on a digital press. We also employ digital printing for higher value substrates where you can’t afford to waste stock getting up to color. We also prefer digital printing for very small pieces in full color that would be difficult to register on our best screen press.
Digital printing—shorter runs, ones that are required next day or within a day or two. And the ones that we are starting to see a lot more are ones that require higher resolution. Jobs that are screen printed are ones that have a specific line color or brand color that digital printing may not hit 100%. Obviously, the longer runs or bigger plan roll-outs.
Cost and time are the driving factors for scheduling. Since we manage color equally the same for digital and screen devices, we are able to move projects in and out of them on a regular basis for optimal effects.
P-O-P projects printed digitally are ones that are shorter runs, with quicker lead times, and are quality-critical jobs. There tends to be more consistency in digital, due to many variables that have been eliminated with the screen-printing process.
Typically, production run length will determine how the job needs to be produced, unless the client has a specific request for one over the other.
SP: Which P-O-P materials are creating the most opportunities for your business and why?
We see it in two areas. One is expanded PVCs. Now that you can print direct to substrate, we are seeing more and more of that. And the other one is window film, both translucent film that can effectively make a window sign, and we are seeing more and more of the see-through window graphics.
The P-O-P materials that are creating more opportunities for our business are the larger amount of retail signage we are producing. Retailers are trying to drive more traffic to their locations.
While screen printing successfully prints on a huge variety of indoor and outdoor materials, no one product, in the last several years, has offered us any unusual opportunities.
SP: How has competition in the P-O-P market affected the way you do business?
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