Inkjet takes market share as innovation quickens in $40.98 billion global signage print market, Smithers data show

April 19, 2023

Print output for wide-format and other signage applications are recovering from a downturn at the beginning of the decade. The outlook is still challenging however, as new priorities are established in printed advertising, point-of-sale (PoS) signage, posters, decals, and vehicle graphics.

Smithers comprehensively examines and quantifies this market in its latest expert study – The Future of Printed Signage in a Digital World to 2028. This shows that in 2023 a total of 10.08 billion square metres of signage media will be printed globally, down from 10.81 billion in 2019. By value, this segment was worth $45.4 billion in 2019, which fell sharply to $36.8 billion in 2020. In 2023, the global printed signage market total value will be worth $40.9 billion.

The sector is approaching the end of its post-Covid recovery curve however, and is now beginning to plateau, Smithers analysis shows. Its dedicated market forecast is for signage print volumes to increase moderately at a +0.7% compound annual growth rate to reach 10.4 billion metres square in 2028. Sales value will be slower to rebound with a marginal CAGR of +0.2% forecast for the same period. With any genuine expansion coming from Asia and other developing economies, total value will reach $41.4 billion in 2028 at constant prices.

Smithers tracks the market outlook for seven different formats of both indoor and outdoor signage across 26 national and regional markets for a 10-year period. The transition away from physical signage is most advanced in economies with greatest access to the Internet. Advertisers are increasingly targeting consumers via social media, websites or other online channels; while the increased preference for e-commerce is damaging the outlook for retail formats. Simultaneously there has been investment in electronic signage that can reproduce static physical adverts – as well as video and touchscreen functionality – but there is a significant up-front capital cost.

This effect is most evident in reduced volumes of large permanent or semi-permanent formats; such as posters, billboards, sails, and hot air balloons. The outlook is more positive in retail signage, mainly various PoS display formats. In-store signage is seen as an important tool to draw shoppers back through the doors for physical retail, and there is innovation to use such media to link to the online world and integrate with multi-platform marketing campaigns. This is pushing OEMs and print service providers to improve the range of value-adding effects on printed signage, as well as diversifying their product mix.

The regions where genuine growth will occur over the next five years are concentrated in major Asian markets like India and China, Latin America, and parts of Eastern Europe; tracking the roll out of supermarket retailing and other amenities to a growing, but not yet fully digitalised consumer base.

Further sub-dividing the market by print process, it is clear that market changes caused by Covid-19, are directly favouring inkjet systems, and the process will progressively take share from analogue competitors (Offset litho, Screen, Other). This reflects several factors, including the adoption superior printhead technology, inks, coatings, and signage media on wide format inkjet. Furthermore, as print run lengths for signage trend downwards, inkjet is increasingly cost-competitive against analogue. The greatest losses will be in screen printing, with marginal decline in offset litho production, contrasting with inkjet growing at a +1.2% CAGR, globally.

Smithers comprehensive dataset also tracks the impact on demand for signage media. This shows a greater use of coated woodfree, other paperboard, and new textile materials, in signage printing across the next five years.

The Future of Printed Signage in a Digital World to 2028 combines expert analysis of contemporary trends with exclusive data (by value and volume), segmenting the market by signage format, print process, geographic region, and leading national market.

This essential business strategy guide to this fast-evolving print sector is available to purchase now priced $6,750 (€5,970, £5,250).

Share or Email this content
Graphic Display World

Email us your news, PR, case studies to [email protected]

Latest from Graphic Display World

Sign & Digital UK 2024 Opens In... February 27, 2024 10:00 am 1
FESPA Global Expo 2024 Opens In... March 19, 2024 10:00 am 22
drupa 2024 Opens In... May 28, 2024 10:00 am 92
PRINTING United Expo 2024 Opens In... September 10, 2024 10:00 am 198
Your 300 x 300 Banner Here
The Print Show 2024 Opens In... September 17, 2024 10:00 am 204

The UK's coolest wide format printing trade press website specialising in providing punchy and concise up-to-the-minute news, views and industry opinions ...

Latest News

Sign Trade Supplies introduces new wood grain aluminium and special texture coatings

Sign Trade Supplies intro…

Feb 21, 2024 Rate: 0.00

The Big Ink Tank plans expanded offering with new VeloBlade Nexus 2516 from Soyang Hardware

The Big Ink Tank plans ex…

Feb 21, 2024 Rate: 0.00

What to see at Sign & Digital UK 2024

What to see at Sign &…

Feb 21, 2024 Rate: 0.00

Innotech Digital announces new print media collaboration on Epson SC-R5000 resin printers

Innotech Digital announce…

Feb 21, 2024 Rate: 0.00

Legacy of Firsts: Vanguard Digital’s first customer invests in first VK3220T-HS flatbed printer

Legacy of Firsts: Vanguar…

Feb 20, 2024 Rate: 0.00

Featured News

Global Printing Enterprises and Drytac serve up a sweet treat with Wonka display

Global Printing Enterpris…

Jan 30, 2024 Rate: 0.00

Epson resin printer becomes the work horse of Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 print operation

Epson resin printer becom…

Dec 01, 2023 Rate: 0.00

Linney chooses state-of-the-art swissQprint Kudu flatbed printer to drive print innovations

Linney chooses state-of-t…

Nov 21, 2023 Rate: 0.00

Hollywood Monster provides graphics for City for Birmingham Festival ‘23

Hollywood Monster provide…

Aug 29, 2023 Rate: 0.00

Ostensible museum pieces

Ostensible museum pieces

Aug 29, 2023 Rate: 0.00


Hollywood Monster's eco-signage gets screen debut at Nottingham cinema

Hollywood Monster's eco-s…

Feb 15, 2024 Rate: 0.00

Global Printing Enterprises and Drytac serve up a sweet treat with Wonka display

Global Printing Enterpris…

Jan 30, 2024 Rate: 0.00

Pivotal Signs & Imaging swaps freezing ice rink for sandy beach with Drytac Polar Grip

Pivotal Signs & Imagi…

Dec 14, 2023 Rate: 0.00

Carbon Graphics Group uses Drytac ViziPrint Deco + for striking window graphics project

Carbon Graphics Group use…

Dec 05, 2023 Rate: 0.00

Epson resin printer becomes the work horse of Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 print operation

Epson resin printer becom…

Dec 01, 2023 Rate: 0.00

Your 1100 x 100 Banner Here