The latest printed signage market insights

Smithers recently released a detailed report about printed signage markets that, when interpreted correctly, provides some encouraging and useful insight. Yucel Salih, our UK Wide Format Print Specialist correlates and agrees with its findings.

But what opportunities exist in the wide format printed signage market? In this article he supplements their report with Ricoh’s own market experiences as well as real world examples from our specialist wide format print partners; our Champions in Print.

Around the world with printed signage markets

In 2022, the global market for printed signage was worth $40.9 billion. And that’s not all. At constant 2021 prices (which, considering global inflation, would be a conservative estimate) printed signage is forecast to increase by 0.2% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR), the scale of which can be difficult to contextualise until you remember that is a percentage of billions, meaning  the global market for printed signage is predicted to reach $41.4 billion by 2028. 

In total printed area, the market is set to increase by 0.7% CAGR, reaching 10.4 billion m2 in 2028. To give you a sense of scale, that’s 1,457 M football pitches (if we go by the size of the Wembley Stadium, which is 105m x 68m). Geographically, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East comprise the largest regional market for printed signage in 2023, with a share of more than 38% in value and nearly 46% of printed area. Smithers and we at Ricoh concur that the printed signage market in this region will see the fastest growth over the next five years. In short, signage and display are undergoing great growth, worldwide; organisations should specifically consider investigating and chasing their home market and capitalising on the growth in Asia. 


printed signage markets

Point of signage markets

The output of corporate graphics, exhibitions, and trade-show materials was a staggering 1,865 million metres squared in 2022. This is expected to grow by CAGR to 1,958 million metres squared by 2028. To break it down, that’s 93 million metres squared of growth in 5 years, an area the size of the Grand Canyon or the Serengeti. (The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania encompasses an area of around 30,000 square kilometres, approximately 93 million square meters. The Grand Canyon National Park in the United States covers an area of about 1,904 square miles, which is roughly 93 million square meters.)

We are witnessing huge growth in e-commerce, due to its ability to provide accurate listings and descriptions, meaning customers are confident in what they are going to receive. Consumers have become accustomed to getting whatever they want, when they want it. Further, they have come to expect value and speed: i.e. next-day delivery is now the norm, not the outlier.

Retail and supermarkets

This means that, due to higher cost of living, retail, especially supermarkets, are trying their best with POS signage to get customers through the door as food is an essential spend.  Other retail outlets are holding back on renewing POS as regularly as they used to. What does this mean for print? Well, traditional sources of print are now becoming unpredictable in their regularity.  Printers are now seeking to spread their customer base further afield and encompass other market sectors, and embrace new printing applications.  Cut sheet output is relatively flat, and lithographic printing is becoming more challenging. So our customers are finding that graphic Wide Format offers an excellent source of extra revenue.  It enables them to better serve their existing customers and find new ones.  

eCommerce/ personalised promotional gifts

As an alternative, print providers are finding huge opportunities with eCommerce and personalised/ promotional gifts. Personalisation has been a popular trend in the corporate gifting space for some time now, and it’s not going away anytime soon. In 2023, companies will be looking for ways to make their gifts even more personalised. This might be through custom packaging, engraving, or monogramming. Global card based or eGift card markets are predicted to be worth 750 billion dollars by 2026. Personalised or custom gift market size is projected to reach multimillion USD by 2029, in comparison to 2022, at unexpected CAGR during 2022-2029. Opportunities also exist in direct to film printing. “DTF has arrived and faces a promising future as the technology proliferates and grows within the apparel decoration sector.” In short, myriad opportunities exist for those willing to adapt.

Signage and display takeaways

The Smithers Report on Signage & Display demonstrates that digital printed signage is a viable market to explore and develop within your business. Printers who are not currently working in signage & display can capitalise greatly if they explore and invest in this market. The number of printers adopting wide format is on the increase. Those who have adopted have seen healthy gains in revenue and very good ROI. If you’re not sure where to start investing in large format, Ricoh can help. Learn more here

Yucel Salih

UK Wide Format Print Specialist

Read all articles by Yucel Salih