A new breed of printer?

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?

– Peter

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1 Comment

Filed under Digital printing

One response to “A new breed of printer?

  1. The printing industry has changed rapidly in the last ten years mostly driven by the internet and better technology. It’s becoming old fashioned to get photos done – ipad’s and televisions are taking over that side of things. Medium format has become in house printing now (despite the running costs and quality). A lot photographers do their own prints now which is rapidly making traditional photo labs extinct. With larger prints people are looking for gifts rather than prints now – they want it framed / mounted. The whole industry is changing and will continue to change for some time.

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