Digital media has certainly exploded over the last number of years and regular print circulation is down. However, marketers who think that print is dead are doing themselves a disservice and missing out on a very real opportunity to connect with their target audiences. This is especially true for large-format posters. The worldwide value of indoor digital signage systems based on light-emitting diodes (LEDs) reached $21 billion (USD) in 2017 and will reach $43.2 billion (USD) in 2027, according to ElectroniCast Consultants, a market research firm. That growth shouldn’t be ignored. So, here are five things that most people don’t know about posters – but really should.
1. Posters show a growth rate of 4% annually
The global value of the large-format printer market is forecast to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4%, according to research firm Markets and Markets, rising from nearly $8.4 billion (USD) in 2017 to nearly $10.6 billion (USD) in 2023. So print, especially as it’s reflected in large-format printing, is not dead. On the contrary, it’s growing. Markets and Markets’ global forecast for this sector takes into account all large-format printers, raster image processor (RIP) software, inks (including solvent-based, aqueous, UV-curable, durable aqueous ‘latex,’ and dye sublimation formulations) and also includes textiles, advertising and packaging printing. Applications include point-of-purchase (POP) advertising, event signage, floor graphics, indoor and outdoor signage, as well as fine art and photo printing.
2. POP posters make up about 40% of LF printing
POP (Point-of-Purchase) posters make up about 40% of large-format printing. A POP poster is a specialized form of sales promotion that’s found on the retail sales floor. Posters are designed to be both eye-catching and informative, and may be used for a variety of applications. The ultimate goal of a POP poster is to grab consumers’ attention – and the bigger the poster, the better!
3. Posters have been around for well over 200 years
Lithography, the printing technique that revolutionized poster printing in the late 1700s, was the start of mass-produced posters. Before that, posters would have been hand-drawn and expensive to produce. Coloured posters came soon after with the development of chromolithography in 1837. This technique involved the use of multiple lithographic stones, one for each colour, yet it was still an extremely expensive way to produce posters. Prior to the introduction of radio and other print media, poster printing was the primary source of communications with the public.
4. The art of posters
The golden age of posters was a period that lasted from 1880 through to 1918. In France, the 1890s marked the beginning of the “Belle Epoque Poster” era. During this era, the world fell in love with the art of the poster. The Belle Époque (French for “Beautiful Epoch”) was named such because it was a period characterized by optimism, regional peace and economic prosperity, in contrast to the horrors of World War I. Several fine artists such as Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and Toulouse-Lautrec were attracted to poster design. Lautrec’s first poster, Moulin Rouge, created an instant sensation in 1891. Posters produced in this era were truly a “work of art.”
5. Poster creation has never been easier
Perhaps creating a “Belle Époque” poster still lies in the hands of the fine artists. But creating professional looking posters for commercial applications has never been easier. I’ve used the Canon “PosterArtist” software to create many posters for events. I’ve also used an online design program called “PicMonkey” to create stunning posters. Both Canon’s standalone software and the software as a service (SaaS) PicMonkey provide easy-to-use graphic design tools to create posters from templates. They’re ready-made designs crafted by professionals and are totally customizable. I love both of them – and I think you will too.
Having had the privilege of working with Canon Canada for the last 14 years (and in the large-format printing industry for over 20 years), I’ve had a chance to meet and work with some incredible people in the industry. So, I hope you enjoy the articles. You can also follow my photographic adventures around the world at www.PhotographyAdventures.ca. I’m also available for consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org.