In just 5 years, color ink-jet has become the dominant technology for printing color images and graphics in the office and home markets. In commercial printing, the traditional printing processes are being influenced by new digital techniques. Color ink-jet proofing, and concepts such as computer to film/plate or digital processes are contributing to the evolution of the industry. In industrial color printing, the penetration of digital techniques is just beginning. All widely used conventional contact printing technologies involve mechanical printing forms including plates, screens or engraved cylinders. Such forms, which need to be newly created and set up for each job, increase costs. In our era of fast changing customer demands, growing needs for customization, and increasing use of digital exchange of information, the commercial and industrial printing markets represent an enormous potential for digital printing technologies. The adoption characteristics for the use of color ink-jet in these industries are discussed. Examples of color ink-jet applications in the fields of billboard printing, floor/wall covering decoration, and textile printing are described. The requirements on print quality, productivity, reliability, substrate compatibility, and color lead to the consideration of various types of ink-jet technologies. Key technical enabling factors and directions for future improvements are presented.