Personalized vs. Customized Wallcoverings: What’s the Difference?

polaroid photos of commercial and residential settings

Personalized vs. Customized Wallcoverings: What’s the Difference?

Whether you’re branding a restaurant, retail location, or your own personal residence, the number one priority is always the same: creating a unique environment that is different from anyone else’s. With current US sales topping $3.2 billion, wallpaper is definitely one of the most popular tools you can use to add style, color, excitement—as well as individuality—to a space.

It’s also one of the most creative, with a wide variety of designs and types that can be customized. Among luxury brands, creating 100 percent bespoke artisan wallcoverings is often possible—though at a price point that is prohibitively high for many projects. More accessible à la carte wallcovering options include changing a design’s colorways, selecting a different type of substrate, or, in the case of digital wallcovering designs, adjusting the scale of the pattern. Some of the most popular online wallpaper sites have thousands of premade, repeating patterns that can be customized to the exact size, repeat, and colors desired. These choices are still quite limiting, however, and don’t make a truly unique and personally meaningful design statement.

But there’s another simple option for using wallpaper to deliver the individuality and exclusivity everyone craves—personalization. Fueled by advances in digital design and printing technologies, it offers almost infinite possibilities for creating interiors that not only can’t be found anywhere else but also express something incredibly special about the people in them.

So, what exactly is personalization?

While at first glance they look very similar, personalization is not customization, per se. It’s actually quite different. With customization, you can modify an existing wallpaper design or template. And while this provides an opportunity to convey your sense of style and personal taste, it does not reflect what makes you unique.

Personalization, on the other hand, takes self-expression to the next level. It provides an easy and attractive opportunity to create something entirely new, using your own stories, memories, artifacts, and interests to turn your spaces into intimate representations of who you are and what you care about.

Every personalized wallcovering starts as a blank canvas. And the materials used to “paint” the picture incorporate what is meaningful and inspiring to you. Using digital surface-design techniques, beautiful wallpaper patterns and murals emerge from treasured photos, heirlooms, textiles, and traditions. Likewise, handwritten notes, heritage recipes, original drawings, quotations, monograms, and collections transform into one-of-a-kind wallcoverings that are distinct and distinctly different from any other.

Why we decided to take wallpaper personally

As designers, we’re always observing how people interact visually with their world. We also have a front-row seat for watching how digital technology is transforming everything—from the printing industry to interior decorating. In fact, for nearly two decades, we’ve worked closely with one of the world’s largest vendors of large format printers—Canon Solutions America—watching as the technology rapidly evolved and opened up amazing new opportunities and design applications, including interior décor.

While concepting and developing an award-winning campaign for the launch of Canon’s revolutionary Colorado 1650 large format printer, we had an epiphany. We could use our design talents and this exciting technology to play a new, somewhat out-of-the-box role in bringing a personalized design experience to our clients. So, a couple of years ago, Street Level Studio added a design service for those looking to create one-of-a-kind environments as well as effective marketing communications.

Beyond the Surface™ Personalized Wallcoverings by Street Level Studio makes it possible for anyone to have an inspired one-off wallpaper or mural created by our surface designers. Each creation emerges from conversations with and input directly from the client. Then, in our hands, anything from family photographs to diary pages, travel mementos, vintage ephemera, and even quirky original illustrations can turn into singular, truly personalized design statements.

The wallcovering is printed on demand using the Colorado 1650 and UVgel ink that can produce either a matte or gloss finish, mimicking the expensive look, feel, quality, and consistency of traditional wallpapers on a wide variety of substrates. Beyond being beautiful, these wallcoverings are extremely durable (you can scrub them with cleaning solvents!) and GREENGUARD Gold certified—meeting one of the most stringent product emissions standards in the world.

We love to get personal!

Right now, most of us are looking to our homes and workspaces to offer sanctuary as well as shelter, to welcome and encourage connection as well as combine form with function. A personalized design not only accomplishes those goals but actually enhances the experience.

By incorporating design elements specific to each individual or business and providing creative ways to share their passions and perspectives through their spaces, personalized wallcoverings can elevate the level of authenticity and originality of any environment with profound impact. We would love to do that for you!