What’s The Future Of Printing?

You might think that printing is under threat with the rise of digital media and communication; is it not true that people aren’t using paper and printed products as much? The truth is the digital revolution has provided the printing industry with a lot of the same advantages it has provided other industries.  It is true that printers will have adapt to the new world, arguably more so than other industries, but it’s likely that print will simply evolve into a new kind of industry which collaborates with online media and advertising rather than being replaced by it.

The digital revolution…

Although it’s easy to assume that the digital revolution have signalled the beginning of the end for printing, print has capitalised on many of the same advantages offered by the internet that other industries have.  The most significant advancement for printing over the last twenty years would be the rise of digital print and streamlining of workflow through advancements like Computer-to-Plate and filmless production, but other more generic opportunities have changed how printers do business:

Digital communication

Digital links to customers provide printers with a more efficient way of providing the end product.  In the past, a back and forth flow of manuscripts, proofs, mechanicals and the like made the process of printing an item longer, and gave the printer control.  These days files can be delivered electronically and jobs can be designed and produced in their entirety and sent directly to the printing service empowering the customer.  Jobs can be completed very speedily and it is estimated that by 2024 one third of all printing jobs will be done in a day.

File transfer is one aspect of e-commerce but enabling customers to speedily make orders, enquiries and the like over the internet makes printing easier for the customers.  If printing is set to become a very rapid process then providing an ordering system which is quick and easy will further enhance efficiency.

Digital printing, CTP and eliminating film

Digital printers have revolutionised the possibilities for print, speeding everything up and reducing costs.  It has enabled printers to offer customisation in the form of variable data printing, allows printers to offer services to a range of clients through cross media, and improved work flow.  The actual process of printing has been radically changed by the invention of CTP and digital printing means the use of film can be eliminated in the printing process.

…leads to a printing evolution

So although printing has taken advantage of the developments the digital and technological revolution has supplied, the bigger question is: does the digital revolution render the need for printing obsolete?  If we’ve got the internet, do we still need printed information?

It’s undoubtedly true that online media, marketing and communication has and will affect the print industry, but at the same time it’s also true that we’re not at a stage where the world can function without print.  Like every other industry, print will have to adapt to the new digital environment. The role of print is likely to evolve then into a service which works in collaboration with the digital world, rather than being replaced by it.

Comments are closed.

We Love Quoting

No project too big or too complex. Get in touch and we can help make your next project possible!

Contact us