In the first of a series of special articles, FESPA speaks with some of the leading companies in the sign-making and related industries to find out more about the services they offer and their take on the current situation in the sign market.
As visitors and previous exhibitors are well aware, the European Sign Expo offers the industry the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the most advanced technologies in the sign-making sector.
Operating as part of the main FESPA event, European Sign Expo welcomes plays host some of the leading names in the sign market, and next year in Berlin, Germany, visitors can expect to see a wide range of new and advanced solutions.
One company that has already confirmed its place at the event in 2018 is EFKA B.V., one of the longest-running businesses in the sign market, having began life in 1888 as a wholesale company, operating under the name ‘Pictureframes’.
The company established a firm footing in the sign sector and, in 2009, made the decision to commence production of textile frames and lightboxes – both of which are critical components to many signage projects around the world. The move proved to be successful and EFKA is now distributing its products to customers around the world.
FESPA spoke to Annemiek van der Maat, marketing and communication manager at EFKA, to find out a bit more about the company, its recent performance and its thoughts on the signage market moving forward.
FESPA: How has 2017 been for EFKA?
Van der Maat: Business in 2017 has been excellent for us, thanks to a growing market for textile printing, economical improvements and also the state-of-the-art products that we produce. This year, we introduced a new lightbox that measures just 50mm in depth, with backlight that lights out perfectly. It is slim, bright and ready made.
Have you noticed many major trends in the sign and sign-making market?
Textile printing is still growing it the sign market in general, as well for the new markets such as complete booths at trade shows, and hotel, office and home decorations.
What is your opinion on the future of sign-making? Are there any key technologies you think will lead the market?
In time, there will be more room taken up by dynamic lightboxes and also digital signage. The content is still a challenge, but that will improve as well, I’m sure.
Looking ahead to next year, what are your main hopes for your business and what do you think 2018 will have in store for the sign-making market?
We hope to continue working with satisfied customers and over 40 satisfied members in the EFKA family. As for the sign sector, in relation to the positive economic forecasts, we believe that the sign-making market will benefit.
The European Sign Expo will once again take place alongside the main FESPA show next year in Berlin, Germany. What is your opinion of the event?
We visited European Sign Expo before, and for sure, we will in the future! FESPA is a unique platform for EFKA to meet international customers and show prospects the unique formula of EFKA that can be used in any environment. We will be in Berlin next year.
And finally, taking everything into account, how would you describe the current sign-making market in five words?
Challenging, Promising, Exiting, Growing, Profitable!
EFKA is one of a host of companies to have signed up to exhibit at European Sign Expo 2018, which is co-located with FESPA 2018, 15-18 May at the Messe Berlin, Germany.
Leading names from the European sign industry will show the latest developments in equipment, software, signage materials and systems, fittings and fixtures, channel lettering, illuminated signage, dimensional signage, engraving and etching at the event.
Signmakers and signage buyers will also be able to discover the future of the industry through the show's ‘Ask the Experts’ feature, a networking event where visitors and exhibitors can attend daily panel discussions and debate a range of topics focused around digital signage.
For more information on the event and the companies that will exhibit, please visit: www.ese.fespa.com.
Check back soon for upcoming articles of this series and learn more about the signage market and the wide range of opportunities it could offer to commercial printers.
In the meantime, review the 2017 highlights from European Sign Expo, the annual exhibition for signmaking, display solutions, visual communications and digital printing in Europe.
by Rob Fletcher