Unleash Creativity: Bringing Ideas to Life with Digital Print

Mathew Faulkner, Canon Europe

Mathew Faulkner, Canon Europe

From immersive in-store experiences to creative brand campaigns, we are living in a new era for creative industries that is literally buzzing with potential. This blog is written by Mathew Faulkner, who is print applications expert for graphics, communications, architecture and décor at Canon Europe

Digital technology is playing a pivotal role in the ongoing creative revolution, enabling mass customisation of products, providing user-friendly virtual communities for sharing and selling creative work, and making it easier than ever to scale and monetise creative ideas. Social platforms create new avenues for promoting creative projects, and technologies like AR and VR hold infinite promise to deepen our interactions with products and built environments.  

One segment of the creative industry that has seen a significant change since the arrival of digital is marketing, with a dramatic impact on how brands connect with consumers. Creative designers, brand managers and campaign teams must now integrate a wider variety of offline and online activities than ever before to attract consumer attention and build seamless 360 degree customer journeys. 

In the age of growing fatigue with digital communications, the measurable value of physical print within the marketing mix should not be underestimated. From creative and highly personalised direct mail campaigns to raise awareness of a brand, to striking interior décor to create an immersive experience instore, through to luxury, customised packaging to enhance the customer’s buying journey, there is a significant opportunity for creative professionals to activate their campaigns in new ways using digital print production techniques.

Elevating engagement with creative, personalised print

With the latest innovations in digital print and cross-media technology, integrated brand campaigns can evolve dynamically across all channels, achieving new levels of relevance and engagement. 

For example, a customer may begin to shop online but abandon their basket or deselect an item. With a targeted follow-up printed mailer, the brand owner can capitalise on this knowledge to re-engage in a meaningful way with the customer, sending them a sample of the abandoned item(s), with a personalised incentive to purchase.

To demonstrate the impact and effectiveness of print in a multichannel marketing mix and the role of targeted communications in the customer journey, Canon has devised Elemental, a conceptual beauty brand launch campaign. At Pure Digital, we will showcase this through a ‘home-street-store’ walk-through, featuring a range of executions from promotional communications and out-of-home advertising, to instore signage and point-of-sale promotion.



The Elemental campaign features stunning images captured by Canon Ambassador Clive Booth to represent the four elements – earth, air, fire and water. Clive himself will join me at Pure Digital to share his experiences of using digital wide format print to extend the scope of his creativity as a photographer and filmmaker and bring his images to wider audiences. He will present the case study of ‘The Ileachs Project’, a documentary captured through film and still photography about life on the Scottish island of Islay, and explain how print added value to this project. 

From idea to reality with digital print

Retail décor is a key feature of the Elemental project, but digitally printed décor is making rapid inroads in corporate, hospitality and home environments too. Fluid fashion trends and changing consumer demands are redefining the status quo in interior decor, where both decorative and practical elements need to be considered. 

The flexibility of today’s digital print technology means that interior spaces can be refreshed and updated quickly using a range of printed graphics and surface décor techniques. The ability to now personalise digitally printed applications for any interior environment, from wall coverings to glass to flooring, is enabling brands to reflect their individuality, be dynamic and meet evolving consumer expectations.

For interior architects, digital print can unlock vast new creative and commercial potential. This is reflected in the story of interior designer Maria Horgen, who will be at Pure Digital as a guest of Canon to discuss interior décor and brand experience, based on her latest “Dusty” project. 



‘Dusty’ is a new interior décor business launched at Oslo Design Fair in January 2018 in partnership with specialist interiors photographer and trend expert Jorunn Tharaldsen. The duo use digital print technology to reproduce original patterns from Art Nouveau wallpapers found in Norwegian heritage buildings and digitally enhanced and restored for modern-day interiors. 

Supported by Canon, the Dusty product portfolio incorporates digitally printed wallpapers which can be customised to the customer’s colour palette, as well as other interior design elements such as glass, furniture, wooden panelling and acoustic panels.

There is a real opportunity for creative professionals, working collaboratively alongside print service providers (PSPs) and specialist technology providers such as Canon, to use print as a platform to bring creative ideas to life, from traditional direct mail, through to creating immersive instore experiences using digitally printed interior décor applications. 

Pure Digital offers a great opportunity to explore the unique commercial and technical advantages of digital print in enabling personalised and customised designs. Together with our customers, and my fellow Canon application specialists, I look forward to showing you how you can unleash creativity with digital