The print industry is represented everywhere. Not only in printed matter and advertisement, but also on façades, tiles, textile, floors, wallpaper, and even solar panels. The traditional paper printing is making place for growth in other sectors.

From 2D printing to 2.5D printing to 3D printing to 4D printing: the traditional printing industry is expanding. Possibilities for ‘personalised printing’, not only on paper, but also on wood, glass, metal, and even concrete, are coming within reach. Special effects for products or packaging material can be achieved by applying smart inks. Smart print technology, meaning interactive techniques, can be integrated in printing matter through QR/NFC/RFID-technology. Printing with relief is increasingly present, mimicking real-life effects like wood structures, or depth in photographs. In addition, the innovation in paper is huge; with remarkable materials such as tomato plants, cacao shells or jeans being used for packaging material, covers, or even wallpaper. Innovation is working its magic in the printing industry and the amount of ‘printable’ materials will only grow.

Our Print & Sign ambassador



Annemarie Kleve is project leader at Houdbaar, a Dutch graphic design firm that focuses on concepts, graphic design and photography, and represents the sector Print & Sign. Houdbaar’s work includes a 1250-page book that shows the city of Deventer, the Netherlands through the eyes of 471 photographers, for the city’s 1250-year anniversary.


Kleve is an expert on printed matter and paper. She has a vast interest in other countries and cultures, and is well-travelled. According to Kleve, communication demands to have the guts to be distinctive, with your own book, magazine or striking printed material. To make printed matter special, you need to look beyond paper by stimulating the senses. You can change the experience of the story by looking, listening, tasting, feeling or smelling.


ARA-LT laser film

ARA-LT laser film is a method to transfer a PVD layer onto a product. The carrier film is provided with a PVD coating (“physical vapour deposition”) and is placed on the product surface within the laser focus level.

Mohair & Kaschmir paper

These paper collections are inspired by the soft fabrics mohair and cashmere. Mohair and Kaschmir paper are both soft to the touch and have an FSC certification.

Atmospheric wood

Atmospheric Wood is a research project based on a historic contact printing technique, commonly called blueprint. Reviving and interpreting this traditional knowledge, Atmospheric Wood aims to bring back this process to contemporary architecture.

Fruit & veggie paper

This paper-like material is made from thin, dried slices of fruits and vegetables as part of an ongoing art project by Alfons Koller. No glue is added when the paper is put together by hand. None of the papers are the same; each is individual piece of nature and a unique piece of art.

Urban paper collection

Influenced by architecture, the Urban paper collection is crafted from cement and wood. Paper with dusty colours, vivid wood structures and powdery cement finishes – this is a collection in accord with the raw materials used in architecture.


Special items



Several large exhibition pieces – often never shown to the public before – were exhibited during the trade fair, showing the visitor a glimpse of the future. What was shown?




PurPod100 is a 100 per cent compostable single serve pod for coffee, tea or other hot beverages. Rather than separating various components of pods, PurPod100 is entirely made from biodegradable materials, such as coffee chaff, paper, bioresin, etc..

Mushroom material

This packaging material from Ecovative Design is made from mycelium, or the roots of mushrooms. Using moulds, the material is grown in the desired shape. Afterwards, the mycelium is dried, which stops the growing process. The material can replace for instance EPS and is completely compostable.


Seepje uses the fruits of Sapindus mukorossi, commonly known as the Chinese soapberry or washnut, as a natural laundry detergent. The packaging of the liquid detergent is made from recycled milk cartons.

Speakers programme



Material Xperience is known for its high-profile speaker programme, which includes renowned (inter)national architects, scientists, designers and other experts.


Thursday afternoon 15 March the speaker programme “The Future of Graphic & Packaging” took place in the Material Xperience theatre, with Caroli Buitenhuis (Green Serendipity), amongst others.


Visit the programme page for more information.

Materials From The Independent MaterialDistrict Collection



During this three-day event, MaterialDistrict showed the newest materials from its independent collection, which were scouted during the year before the exhibition. A small selection of materials:


Remake (ONA650)

Remake paper is made from the discarded residue of the leather manufacturing process, replacing 25 per cent of wood tree pulp.

Karta-Pack bagasse/cotton (ONA695)

Karta-Pack is sustainable alternative for plastic packaging material. The material is made from is compostable and biodegradable material, in this case a mix of cotton and bagasse (a waste material from sugar production).

BioFoam (ONA683)

BioFoam is a biobased foam that is comparable to EPS (expanded polystyrene). The material has an organic base, and a Cradle-to-Cradle certification.