Last week we talked about how digital printing is changing the face of our industry; how its growth is being fueled by the changes in the demands for print.
It’s becoming more and more common to hear rallying cries like “Save Print” and “Print Lives;” we’re even seeing hashtags such as #HelpPrintThrive and #PrintChat trend on Twitter.
But, I wonder, is print really dying or is it just changing? Morphing into something else? We’ve heard a lot about page counts and run lengths decreasing, but we also hear about end over end growth of wide format and higher price tags for personalized pieces.
So then, are we simply seeing a new generation – or even species – of printer? One that has its DNA rooted in digital printing? At last week’s PODi AppForum in Las Vegas, about 400 of these new breeds gathered and discussed everything from integrating cross-media services and email marketing best practices to building an online print business and (gasp) implementing social media. These are not the topics that we hear traditional printers talk about, and it’s indicative of where our industry is headed.
It used to be that to define oneself as a printer typically meant having a 40” 5-color press in your shop. And then we saw these printers begin to carve out niches – one might add digital printing, another may get into wide format, and still another may do both. As the industry evolves, though, is the definition of a traditional printer going to change? Are those long-run jobs on a 40” press going to become the niche rather than the norm?
What do you think?