The Covid-19 pandemic has affected most industries, and large format printing is no exception. The pandemic brought a halt to in-person events, one of the most important sources of income for large format printing companies. Faced with this challenging landscape, most organizations in the industry were forced to pivot to a whole different set of products. Here’s how large format printers capitalized on the existing workforce skills during Covid.
Yard signs became an original trend during the pandemic and an ideal way for large format printers to capitalize on their existing capabilities and skills. Births, birthdays, and holidays became more colorful thanks to these signs that people used to make up for the lack of close social interaction. Yard signs also played an important role in graduations, attracting widespread media coverage. If the class of 2020 was deprived of a proper send-off, yard signs and banners offered them and their families an original way to celebrate their achievements.
Social Distancing Graphics
When the pandemic hit, social distancing graphics became indispensable for many businesses almost overnight. Maintaining a safe space between people is essential to contain the spread of the pandemic, and signage is the best way to achieve this goal. Social distancing signs are still a crucial component in the reopening strategy of all types of businesses and institutions, including:
- Shopping malls
- Grocery stores
- Retail stores
- Train and bus stations
From chair tents to floor signs and other self-adhesive signage, large format printers leveraged their skills and technical capabilities to meet the varied demand for this new type of graphics.
Needless to say, hospitals are key in the fight against the pandemic. If signs are necessary to ensure the safety of people in normal work environments, this need is even more pressing in hospitals. Here the full potential of signage is on display. Floor signs and chair separators ensure proper social distancing in waiting rooms. Signs placed strategically remind everyone to wear masks and sanitize their hands. Graphics affixed to bathroom walls show the proper procedure to wash hands, while elevator wraps inform and boost morale. Large format signage has also been used to show support to health care workers. In fact, big yard signs reading “Heroes Work Here” were placed outside hospitals and became a nationwide trend.
Like hospitals, dentist offices were another sensitive environment where large format printers applied their expertise to enhance the safety of all involved. In fact, “visual alerts” are an important component of the guidance for dental settings released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is a challenging setting because it combines close contact between dentist and patient with other interactions such as sitting in a waiting room and exchanges with receptionists and other dental staff. Large format printers pivoted their capabilities and know-how to create a series of solutions that reflect this complexity, including:
- Branded hand sanitizer stations
- Plastic partitions
- Floor graphics
- Chair tents
- Window graphics
Restaurants are one of the sectors that were hit the hardest over the last several months. Some experts estimate that until December 2020, at least one in six eateries in the United States had to close definitely as a result of the pandemic. The foodservice industry had to comply with many new measures to operate safely. The guidelines changed from state to state, but often included offering curbside pickup, reducing indoor seating capacity, and ensuring proper distance between tables.
Again, large format printers rose to the challenge with visual products that allowed restaurants to comply with the new regulations, mitigating risks for employees, customers, and providers. The large format printing solutions that restaurants utilize include:
- Sidewalk A-frame banners
- Window graphics
- Self-adhesive signs for tables
- Chair tents
- Branded hand sanitizer stations
- Educational graphics for customers and staff
Conclusion: Organizing the “New Normal”
The pandemic created conditions that resulted in the sudden interruption of in-person events, a crucial income stream for large format printers. Faced with an extremely difficult and unforeseen landscape, the printing industry had to find ways to adapt its capabilities and know-how to the so-called “new normal.”
In pivoting to new products that allowed them to capitalize on the existing workforce skills during Covid, large format printers were able to manage through a particularly difficult time. Thanks to this strategy, designers, installers, technicians, and many other professionals who work in peripheral industries stayed employed over the last several months.
But while business continuity was the main goal, this process also led to the creation of visual solutions that allowed many businesses to operate safely. By helping organize the “new normal,” large format printing played a decisive role in preserving the jobs and health of millions of people all around the world.
Here it’s worth noting that a situation that was already unprecedented became even more challenging for large format printers due to a host of other factors. For example, the crisis of the United States Postal Service (USPS) caused delays in deliveries that resulted in losses that eroded the profits of commercial printers.
While the effects of the pandemic will still be evident for years to come, large format printers have emerged from the challenges described here as a more resilient, agile, and resourceful industry.
For more information about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the large format printing industry, we recommend reading this previous post.
About CR&A Custom
We are a large format printing company based in Los Angeles with clients all over the United States and abroad. Our high-quality visual products set our clients apart and take their business to new heights.
When you choose CR&A Custom you are choosing deep expertise, fast turnaround times, and a proven track record of more than 25 years creating outstanding visual solutions.
Contact us today by email (email@example.com), telephone (213-749-4440), or social media (Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn) for a free estimate or to learn more about our full range of large format printing solutions: vinyl banners, wall graphics, window graphics, building wraps, boat wraps, and more.