Shaun Holdom on Signage Trends and the pending HP webinar

LFR recently spoke with Shaun Holdom, ISA-UK council member and Global Product Manager at Drytac, regarding the latest trends in the signage market as it starts to recover from the global pandemic.

Given the events of the past 18 months, how well do you think the industry responded and what were some of the key trends to emerge during the Covid-19 crisis?

Signage did not go away over the pandemic; in fact, it has never been so important. Print service providers and sign-makers rose to the challenge globally to support the efforts of all of our brave medical staff, frontline personnel and those who delivered essential services to the public during an incredibly difficult time.

The requirement for signage related to health and safety exploded to the point where we saw important messaging appearing everywhere. Who can forget the social distancing circles on the floors of shops or one-way systems around the high street?

Since then, the requirements for signage and graphics have evolved and although the messaging for health and safety has remained, marketers and brand owners have put their own spin on the graphics.

Now we are hopefully moving away from the pandemic, how do you think the trends that we have witnessed in recent times will impact the industry moving forward?

Graphics have come full circle and are now a key part of any business, especially within the retail and hospitality sector as they welcome back customers and staff alike. All print companies working in this area have a new-found creativity, using any surface – including walls, windows and floors – to support key health messages alongside clever branding.

Graphics are also becoming increasingly functional as well as being marketing tools. With clever integration of QR codes and social media tagging locations, brand owners can use all of the space around them to leverage sales activities that can be truly measured.

What about the types of materials companies work with? Have you witnessed any major changes in the demand for certain products and solutions?

The development of materials and systems that can be easily installed and removed with little or no professional experience has meant that location owners can replace graphics and messaging quickly. Given the uncertainty of the last 18 months, this has been key for businesses and ensures they can display the most up-to-date messaging.

Now we are seemingly on the home stretch of the pandemic, the focus has returned to looking at the products we use to print with and – in particular – where we can become more sustainable.

Traditionally, the signage and graphics industry has been very wasteful, with many companies using products that last for a long time, such as PVC, and remain in the environment for hundreds of years. In some cases, these products can be used for just days or even hours before being thrown away.

With the boom in the development of printers capable of printing onto more diverse materials with greener inks, we have finally been given the opportunity to really look at the life cycle of our graphics and how we can reduce the waste.

The rise of more eco-conscious print is a key trend for the future and one which print service providers would be wise not to ignore.

Finally, we understand that you are about to participate in a webinar with HP on the subject of Signage Trends in the New Normal. Without giving too much away, please could you tell us what a PSP will gain from attending or downloading the webinar?

As commercial spaces gradually reopen with new safety norms, the upcoming HP webinar will invite print service providers to explore untapped opportunities in the world of signage.

Industry experts will offer fresh insights on the latest signage trends; explore thermoforming applications and production processes; and highlight print technologies which unlock new growth avenues. The event will also feature an interactive Q&A session.

Signage Trends in the New Normal’ will take place at 10am UK time/11:00 CET on 23 September. Featuring leading experts at HP, as well as partner companies and customers, it will offer advice and guidance on how to boost your business in the post-pandemic world.

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