Inkjet Printing for the Wall Decor Industry
Inkjet printing has allowed some serious advancements within the wall decor sector over the last decade. The range of products and their capabilities have drastically improved along with their quality and compatible materials.
In this post by Icon Wall Stickers, we will look at the possibilities within the wall decor industry, addressing the products available. From here, we’ll move on to the benefits compared to the printing methods of similar products along with the challenges you can face when printing wall decor.
Possibilities of Wall Decor Printing
There are two main types of wall decor available with inkjet printing: wall murals and wall stickers. These two products are printed to be attached directly to the wall as a semi-permanent but easily removed feature. They’re each guaranteed for at least five years.
Stickers are designed to be used on a smaller section of a wall. Designs can be printed from a few centimetres up to a couple of meters. Murals are designed to cover a full wall and can be printed from one meter squared with no maximum size. They’re printed edge to edge for the best results.
The wall stickers and murals can have essential any image printed on them, whether that’s a photograph, illustration or an abstract design. The art can be applied both indoors and outdoors on a wide range of surfaces.
There are two materials available for the murals; a peel and stick with a sticky application layer as well as a design that’s similar to wallpaper that needs paste for application. The stickers are only available in the peel and stick variety due to the intricate detail.
The inkjet printers along with advanced sticker cutters allow all white space to be removed for a seamless print.
Murals and stickers are printed using large-format HP Latex Printers on the two types of paper using a latex ink. Images are digitally inputted from the design bank for printing.
Benefits Mural Printing Compared to Traditional Wallpaper
Wallpaper was previously printed using a number of different techniques. Block, trough, flat-bed, surface, rotary and silkscreen printing are to name just a few techniques used. These methods vary in the quality of the production and the end product, however, there are many benefits that can be seen when compared to digital inkjet printing.
Digitally printed murals and stickers can feature essentially any design giving the ultimate flexibility. Thousands of pre-configured designs can be configured for quick and automated printing.
New designs can also be input for custom printing. This includes a huge variety of prints such as conventional wallpapers, photographs or logos. Any image filetype can be used and converted into print.
Print Quality & Colour
Inkjet printing gives murals and stickers a superb quality, with bright and vivid colour. The print quality is accurate when compared to the digital counterpart, thanks to advanced colour matching capabilities.
To maintain quality, the ink is UV resistant. This helps to prevent the negative effects caused by the sun, resulting in the image fading.
After the initial setup, the printing process is largely automated. Designs are automatically sized to the appropriate dimensions once configured. When ordered, they will print without any manual input. Custom designs do require manual work prior to printing to ensure the best quality.
In terms of changing paper and ink cartridges, the printers provide a status level. This allows you to monitor and change as required.
Speed of Printing
HP Latex Printers allow the quickest printing available for wall art. The time will vary depending on the size, colour and complexity of the design, however, inkjet printing compared to the traditional wallpaper techniques is vastly superior.
Eco-Friendly & Non-Toxic Ink
The water-based ink used with wall decor is eco-friendly and non-toxic. The water base allows a significant reduction in chemicals to have a minimal environmental effect. This also means printing is odourless and doesn’t require ventilation.
Superb Paper Quality
A huge benefit of using an inkjet printer is the impressive quality of the compatible paper. The wallpaper is non-woven, meaning it doesn’t shrink once applied to your wall. It also comes with a commercial Euroclass fire classification EN 13501-01:2007 - B-s1, d0 test. They can also be wiped clean with a damp cloth.
Challenges of Inkjet Wall Decor Printing
Although inkjet printing is by far the most effective method of wall decor printing, there are some challenges. In this section, we’ll take a look at the main issues you may face and the options you have for getting around them.
Although image quality is generally high, this can be affected by the size of the print or the quality of the source file. In some cases, visible image pixelation may occur which is picked up during quality checks.
This issue can be negated by optimising the size of the image to the print. Also, only using top-quality source images significantly reduces the likelihood of any issues with the mural or sticker. Finally, the image can be separated out into individual files for large products. From here, several prints can be made with each section of the blown up image to maximise the quality.
Sticker & Wall Mural Sizes
Stickers and murals are limited to the maximum size of the printer. Although this may cause a slight issue, if a larger size is required, sections of a design can be printed and put together during the installation. Although this is an inconvenience, printing will always be limited to the size capabilities of the printer.
Manual Input for Stickers
To remove whitespace from stickers for the best appearance, the sticker is cut by the printer, then, by hand, the white space is removed. No workaround is available for this, however, it does provide the best sticker results.
Summary of Inkjet Printing for the Wall Decor Industry
Inkjet printing has allowed some huge advancements in the wall decor industry. Complete image flexibility and digital colour matching are some of the biggest advantages along with digital automation.
by David Atkinson
About Icon Wall Stickers
Icon Wall Stickers are a UK-based manufacturer of inkjet printed wall murals and stickers. They offer thousands of mural and sticker choices plus completely custom designs. Every product is made-to-order and comes with a five-year quality guarantee and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.