Wallcoverings: a profitable niche for wide-format printing

Wallcoverings: a profitable niche for wide-format printing

Despite a cautious spending environment in Canada when it comes to investing, the current outlook shows that the sign and graphics industry will enjoy a strong 2020 and that these trends will continue through the year. The key to doing well in the large-format printing market is to identify specialized/niche wide-format markets that you can capitalize on in your own local market. One such profitable niche can be found in wallcovering printing.


The concept of printing on materials that go on walls has been around for some time, but in the digital printing world, new boundaries are being broken. Digital printing has actually displaced many traditional technologies. Compared to traditional printing, digital printing now offers excellent print quality, and the process is more flexible, efficient and faster. One such company specializing in custom wallcovering design and print is PI Fine Art Toronto, so we decided to pay them a visit and chat with executive Andrew Cohen to show us what makes the company so unique in manufacturing digital wallcovering products.

Founded by Ester Cohen in 1976, PI Fine Art is one of the largest vertically integrated art companies in North America, specializing in all steps, from design creation to printing up to 126” wide. Through close collaboration with artists and in-house designers, PI has a library of over 23,000 images at their disposal. They create wallcoverings for hotels, commercial, healthcare and residential spaces. As a full service, vertically integrated company, PI manages every step from art development to final print.

Wallcoverings: a profitable niche for wide-format printing

Step 1 is the creation or preparation of a design 

In-house artists will create original pieces using traditional paints and then finish the prints digitally. PI would also employ 300 outside creative designers to add to the library of over 23,000 images.

Wallcoverings: a profitable niche for wide-format printing

Step 2 is the preparation of the image, which can be up to 1GB file size

Much manipulation is needed in this stage as artwork is scanned and prepared for the digital printing reproduction.

Wallcoverings: a profitable niche for wide-format printing

Step 3 is the printing stage 

PI uses a range of latex printers ranging in size from 64” up to 126” to print wallcoverings and they offer a linen or silky texture finish, as well as a faux leather textured covering and a sparkly jeweled finish.

Wallcoverings: a profitable niche for wide-format printing

Step 4 is the trimming process

Designed to work with both rolls and sheets, the trimmer will cut a 150-ft media roll in less than 15 minutes with precision.

Wallcoverings: a profitable niche for wide-format printing

Step 5 is rolling up the finished product ready to ship to the client

PI operates a huge warehouse space in Toronto that takes care of the manufacturing and shipping of a wide range of wall décor products.

Step 6 is the customer having their installer apply the wallcovering to the walls


New developments in design software and digital printing technology have made it easier to customize graphics for indoor wallcovering applications. It is now possible to do short-run and one-of-a-kind wallpapers as well as many other décor applications. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me.


Peter Dulis

Peter Dulis is an award-winning photographer and large-format printing executive having worked with Canon Canada for the last 14 years. A proven leader with outstanding communication skills, Peter is available for consultation or keynote speaking engagements and can be reached at pdulis@rogers.com (Follow his travel photography adventures at - www.photographyadventures.ca