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Wall Coverings Continue Trending

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Where did the summer go? And why was the conference room filled with architects and interior graphic designers during a beautiful July day? A continuing education course to earn AIA learning units on digital wall decor, of course! The amazing AIA Chicago team helped bring the content to their members and we hosted two sessions.

Surveys to Solutions

From wall preparation to low VOC-paints, there were a number of excellent questions about media, applications, drywall and process.  Attendees were kind enough to complete a short, anonymous survey and we are excited to share results:

  • 70% Answered They Will Further Investigate Wall Coverings & Digital Decor
  • 70% see a need for this technology in the commercial sector of their industry
  • 70% will have an opportunity to use Digital Wall Décor technology for a client

It was great to receive positive responses from this pool of professionals. We decided to look a little further for numbers outside of our office to support this feedback.

Freedonia Group, an Ohio-based market research firm, covers industries ranging from construction & building products to consumer goods. Their media director Corinne Gangloff, provided a snippet from their 2011 Wall Coverings study.

Demand for wall coverings in new office and commercial buildings is projected to increase 10.3 percent annually to $240 million in 2015. 

From 2005 through 2010, the numbers had been trending down.  Why the turnaround?

Wall Coverings Continue Trending 2 Matt Zielenski Freedonia Group AnalystGrowth in demand will result from expansion in new office and commercial construction from a relatively weak 2010 base.  As new construction increases, opportunities for wall coverings will emerge, primarily wall panels, wallpaper and decorative tile, all of which are used in this market niche in significant quantities.
Matt Zielenski, Senior Analyst at Freedonia Group

Numbers to New Ideas

Great, so we know there is an upward trend in décor applications and interest. How is it being used?

A few months back we shared how Cushing clients are using digital wall décor, including Solstice Mobile’s marketing strategist and the Executive Director at Magid Glove and Safety.

This time, we looked for a different perspective firm and reached out to a firm who recommends these types of applications (and a terrific company to collaborate with on projects.)


Joe-Lawton-Black-and-White-HeadshotJoe Lawton is the Senior Associate + Director / Media Objectives at Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, a cross disciplinary experience design studio embedded within the architectural office. M-O and VDTA have offices in Chicago, Palo Alto and San Francisco. Passionate and knowledgeable about branded environments and the industry, Joe was kind enough to share insight on applications he has received questions about in recent years.

Why do you think design, architecture and design firms are paying more attention to these applications?
Environmental graphics are a great way to make a holistic spatial experience and are a cost-effective way to visually integrate a brand into a space. What’s great are they don’t have to be a permanent solution and can evolve, as the client’s brand evolves.

What comes up the most?
An ongoing hot topic is eco-friendly products and services.

How are they being used?
Three very tangible uses come to mind (by no means all of them), but popular requests:

Visitor Education
Environmental graphics make a huge impact when prospects or guests visit your space.

Recruitment Tool
An interesting application we have seen trend more in recent years. To recruit talent, environmental graphics provide an inside view of a company and culture.

Local Flavor
You can create a sense of inclusion by including a connection to the local flavor of the city. The best applications of the often are a bit more abstract or have included a collaboration with a local artist.

Future Growth

OK, so I know we threw out a lot of numbers and throwing out one more. Global Industry Analysts Inc, a consultancy based in San Jose California, released a report in January 2015. Their findings see the custom wall coverings market exceeding $32 billion by 2020, in part driven by beautifully styled products offering versatility, sustainability and extended product life.

Wall Coverings Continue Trending 3 Projected Wall Covering Numbers1


Yes, these numbers are global but the US market is represented. Regarding products in the link, a little plug here: these include several versatile and effective wallcoverings we offer at Cushing, with names such as Mongahello and Bali Hai or materials from 3M and avery. Learn more about options and see additional images of custom business wall graphics projects we have fulfilled.

Global Industry Industry Analysts provided additional insight into where we may continue to see applications impacting commercial environments.

With changing lifestyles, more customers prefer trendy, one-of-a-kind, walls for their buildings. The rising preference for contemporary designs is also a factor promoting increase in digital printing of wall coverings. Creating pleasant and unique ambience is vital in retail and hospitality sectors in order to stand out among a host of restaurants, hotels, and other commercial complexes.
Global Industry Analysts

The Cushing team is proud to be a part of this growing trend which is quickly transforming into a mainstream application.

If you have any questions on how we can assist you or a client with bringing an idea to life, we are here to help.

Contact Your Cushing Team



Jon Davis

Jon Davis is Cushing’s Marketing Manager. From blogging to online communications, Jon writes about client developments, environmental branding, and much more. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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