In some ways, the printing industry is about the survival of the fittest. In Australia, for example, the annual growth from 2014 to 2019 might shrink by a per cent, according to IBISWorld. Many printing companies might slow down, but the industry itself won’t die. Instead, it will undergo evolution as consumer preferences change significantly.
For printing businesses to both survive and thrive, they need to pay attention to the industry trends. Here is a roundup of the changes to watch out for in 2019:
1. Bubble-free Operations
Consumers will still use laminated products in the next few years. Laminated labels, for example, may achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 4% by 2024. Within the forecast period, the need will increase to more than 66 billion square metres from less than 50 billion square metres.
Much of the growth will happen in the Asia-Pacific region. It accounted for about 36% of the market share in 2015, and it will maintain the leadership in the coming years. The popularity of the products will also be due to the different large industries that use them. These include food and beverages and health care.
Printers, though, need to provide high-quality laminated service, and that includes a bubble-free operation. For this reason, there will be a growing need for a wide-format laminating machine.
This equipment features technologies that eliminate the formation of bubbles and wrinkles even during the first lamination. In the process, it speeds up the production’s efficiency and boosts the business’s credibility. It can manage flat surfaces as thick as 60 millimetres and comes with an adjustable roller pressure. This extends the machine’s purpose or function. It also has a modular design, which makes it scalable and reasonably priced even for startups.
2. Digital Printing
One of the most significant industry changes is digital printing or the process of printing a digital image directly into the medium. It can achieve a CAGR of almost 5% from 2017 to 2023 due to speed and efficiency. The market value will already reach $28 billion—a whopping $5 billion increase—by the end of the forecast period.
A significant reason for its growth is sustainability. Many companies, for instance, may shift to eco-friendly packaging using environment-friendly ink. It also explains why the likes of UV-cured and other eco-solvent inks will obtain the largest share in this segment.
With the growth of digital printing and signage, it’s easy to dismiss catalogues as good as dead. They’re not. Research showed that it is still an effective marketing strategy due to its unlikely consumer: the millennials.
Many studies associate this generation, born in the early eighties to late nineties, to the Internet and digital marketing. Research by Data & Marketing Association, though, suggests that they tend to prefer catalogues more than the older generation due to factors such as visuals.
This information matters as millennials begin to take over many aspects of Australia’s economy. For example, they are starting to dominate the workforce, giving them the purchasing power. About 40% of them are married or have families, which means they now possess the buying influence.
The history of printing began as early as 3500 BCE. The reason it continues to survive is that businesses prefer to innovate than die. The road to success can be competitive and tough, but it’s possible, especially if one pays attention to trends.