Fespa Print Census Predicts A Bright Future For Wide Format Printing Industry

FESPA’s Print Census which was released this month spelled exceptional growth trends for the industry with renewed enthusiasm and optimism. It is by far the most far-reaching global industry survey ever conducted by the organization that intends to expose six overarching trends driving the global wide format and speciality print community.

Over 1200 industry stalwarts worldwide fully completed the extensive survey between May 2014 and April 2015. 50% of respondents were from the Americas, 42% from Europe and 8% from the Asia Pacific region. Respondents represented the full spectrum of print businesses, including screen and digital printers (34%); commercial, quick printers and reprographic shops (15%); sign makers (13%); industrial manufacturers (8%) graphic designers (7%); advertising agencies (5%); and others.


The key trend is the optimism amongst the business owners. Business owners are confident of their business growth strategies. 80% of respondents are very positive or fairly optimistic for their businesses.

This exceeds their optimism for the industry as a whole by 14%. The developed markets have performed exceedingly well where the average revenues have more than doubled over the same period, from 3 million Euros in 2007 to over 6.25 million Euros in 2015. Overall revenue growth from 2007 to 2015 was about 9% CAGR for the overall business, and 7% for digital wide format.

Customer demands and expectations have changed by leaps and bounds and efforts to satisfy their needs through improved efficiency, faster turnaround time, just-in-time delivery, delivery to the point of need, and versioning/personalization have become extremely important to survive in the industry. This proves that the print industry is now customer driven and at least 70% of respondents expect these four key customer trends to increase.


Mass customization has become the need of the hour. Banners (49%), posters (40%), signs (38%) and billboards (37%) remained the top four products being produced by respondents. 80% of respondents reported an increase in demand for textiles for garments, textiles for décor and packaging samples.

Majority of the respondents were keen to purchase digital wide format printing equipment and were ready to shell out close to 100,000 Euros for the same. Purchasing plans were dominated by UV printers (27%), textile printers (21%), solvent printers (17%), eco-solvent printers (16%) and latex printers (14%). Contour cutters and laminators top respondents’ planned acquisitions in finishing. Such a change has been driven by a desire to enhance the print quality, increase capacity, improve output speed and reduce unit costs.


There has been tremendous growth in the textile print industry. This sector has seen a whopping growth of 81%, the highest of any growth application. Digital is a key enabler here, with over half of respondents expecting digitally produced garments to become an important alternative to traditional screen printing in the next two years.


36% of respondents expected live media and LCD screen advertising to impact the wide format business in the foreseeable future.

FESPA CEO Neil Felton said, “The FESPA Print Census paints a clear picture of an energized community in which business leaders have a clear and positive vision of the future and are reaping the commercial rewards.

Despite a mixed macro-economic picture globally, printers across continents are responding to clients’ changing needs, diversifying their product offering, making calculated technology investments with a focus on efficiency and mass customization, and embracing the changing role of print in the communications mix.”

He further continues, “The data that comes out of this Print Census regarding the growth of textile applications reinforces the importance of FESPA’s commitment to textile, through our regular FESPA Fabric event and the continued international roll-out of our Digital Textile conferences. An important addition is the recent launch of Printeriors, which explores the world of interior décor applications, where textile plays a significant role.”

“Similarly, the positive indicators around digital signage reinforce the importance of our European Sign Expo event, with its educational focus on digital signage opportunities. 

The feedback regarding industrial applications highlights the key role that FESPA can play by capitalising on our 50-year heritage in technical screen print, combined with our 15-year track record as the leading platform for speciality and wide format printers to explore digital inkjet innovation.”

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