Catersource is part of the Informa Connect Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Carpet as Canvas

Designers, event planners, and marketers looking to visually brand, market, or promote a product or organization at trade shows, special events, or building entrances can now transform floor space into their attention-getting canvas with custom, digitally printed dye-sublimated carpets.

While posters, banners, and other display media have long been used to reach out to prospects in interior spaces, traditional wall space is often over cluttered. Not only is scarce wall space full of structural elements like doors, windows, light switches, and fire extinguishers, but also signs, paintings, and other visual distractions.

In contrast, interior floor space is uncluttered by design.

The new blank canvas

“The floor is a huge, empty space that can be transformed into your personal advertising medium with custom digitally printed carpets, which represent an exciting new promotional channel,” says Ilene Haber, Creative Director at the Marketing Project, a New York City-based marketing specialist of healthcare and nonprofit organizations.  “Customers interact with your visual brand—your logo, your message, your mascot—because in this novel format it draws the eye in; they walk over it and they touch it. The surface becomes an event in itself.”

Trade shows, convention centers, schools, colleges, universities, museums, corporate offices, retail spaces, and concert tours are just some of the venues where custom, digitally printed carpets have been used for branding, marketing, and promotion.

Designers are actively exploring the new display and branding possibilities that digitally printed carpet provides—from Aladdin’s magic carpet in Disneyland to a yellow brick road themed carpet in a New York City Furla Fashion Week event; to a promotional New York Jets football field carpet, lined and numbered like the real gridiron; to carpet displaying earthquake fault lines at a California museum; to inlay carpeting of the UConn Huskies’ mascot showing school pride in the basketball locker room.

“Today, digital dye-sublimation printed carpets can be printed in the full color spectrum from any electronic image in sizes and shapes limited only by the designers imagination,” says Jim O’Connor, CEO of Enhance a Colour (, an innovator in the large format digital printing industry. “If a designer can create an image on the computer screen, we can create and color match it perfectly in a variety of carpet grades.”

For instance, promotional grade carpet for trade shows and short-term events, good for about 60 days of use, can be laser cut into smaller size “tiles” which can be put together to create any size visual display required. Circles and irregular shapes, such as a winding yellow brick road are also possible.

Heavier carpet, designed for corporate settings, museums, schools, retail spaces and anywhere requiring longer term use for about five years plus, can be created in 10’x12’ sections and “tiled” for larger displays. 


New colors & functionality

While promotional carpet was available to designers previously, it was limited in size, function, and color matching capability. In the past, for instance, some vendors printed in solvent ink, which could not be walked on, and was not color fast or washable. UV inks were a little better, but still not washable.

In digitally printed dye-sublimated carpets, however, the colors are transferred into the carpet fibers using extreme heat and pressure during printing, making it color fast. The carpet can be shampooed, machine washed, or steam cleaned and still look perfect, even in high-use areas.

Now that designers and marketers have a versatile new creative branding tool in custom, digitally printed carpets, the only question that remains is how far their imaginations will take them and their clients.


Del Williams is a marketing and technical writer based in Torrance, CA. Photos courtesy of Enhance a Colour.

Del Williams

Del Williams is a marketing and technical writer based in Torrance, CA.