ISA Expo Recap: 3 Observations from the Show Floor Shaping the Industry This Year By Sean Profera

The sign, graphics and visual communications space is constantly evolving to keep pace with shifts occurring across the business and consumer landscape. It’s important for industry leaders to stay in step with these trends, so they can identify which up-and-coming products, services or technologies might help their customers achieve their goals. One of the best venues for trend-spotting and product-scouting is the ISA International Sign Expo 2022.

For the first time in three years, the industry’s largest trade show took place live and in person—and it did not disappoint. Graphics and visual communications leaders from across the Southeast gathered in Atlanta to network, explore new suppliers and get a glimpse of the latest innovations shaping the market.

From direct-to-film (DTF) printing to fabric-based signage, the ISA International Sign Expo featured several new applications, as well as a long lineup of new printers and gear. Here are just a few notable highlights from the show.

DTF printing is a trend to watch

DTF printing allows users to print their designs on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film using aqueous or water-based pigment inks before transferring it to their chosen fabric or piece of apparel. Unlike direct-to-garment (DTG) printing, DTF doesn’t require fabric pre-treatment, saving printers precious time and resources. Additionally, DTF is compatible with fabrics such as nylon and polyester, which can be difficult to work with when printing directly onto a garment.

Given the efficiency gains and potential cost savings DTF has to offer, we’re excited to see how this technology impacts the sign and graphics industry moving forward.

The user experience is dictating product upgrades

As the adage goes, the customer is king—and brands that abide by this principle tend to score high in the customer loyalty department. One brand that pays close attention to the customer experience is Roland, who used the ISA International Sign Expo to debut their latest addition to the TrueVIS series.

When designing the VG3, Roland used customer feedback to enhance key features and improve usability. Not only does the new model have an easy-to-navigate LCD touchscreen, it includes an expanded color output to meet end users’ needs. It also boasts an integrated cutting feature and automated media calibration to help optimize time and materials. By keeping the user at the center of product development and incorporating customer feedback into new equipment, Roland has built a brand that buyers can trust.

 Virtual demonstrations can’t compete with a live showroom

At the height of the pandemic, remote events became the norm. Although virtual walk-throughs and how-to videos can be impactful, nothing compares to a live demo—especially when it comes to something as advanced as a wide format printer.

Events like the ISA International Sign Expo are perfect venues for test driving wide format printers and other equipment before committing to a purchase. But trade shows are limited-time events, and they aren’t guaranteed to offer the specific product you’re looking for. That’s why we built our very own demo center in downtown Orlando—to give our customers the chance to see, use and ask questions about the items on their wish list.

Whether you’re ready to explore a new application, purchase equipment or simply want to pick our brains about how you can accomplish your organization’s goals, drop us a line and we’ll ensure you get the full wide format experience.