THE DIGITAL FUTURE OF PRINT
Printing technology has come a long way in the last 15 years and has continued its rapid transformation over the past 6 years. Its been something of a revolution, none more-so than Digital Printing (a very large laser or inkjet printer to you and me) which since its launch in 1993, is now starting to replace the more traditional ink-based litho printing in many areas.
Fuelled by shorter run lengths, increased personalisation, faster turnarounds and demanding quality. Digital print is rapidly growing and will eventually overtake lithographic print. Digital now holds 20% of the world print market share and is estimated to continue growing at a rapid rate.
Colour is Growing Rapidly
Colour drives the digital print market, with colour pages expected to increase from a 26% share of total pages in 2012 to 48% by 2017.
That growth is multiplied further by the higher value and margins digital printing delivers compared to offset litho. In 2018, digital print will account for 20.6% of the total market – but will be worth 50% of the offset litho market in terms of value.
Digital printing offers a quicker response time, due to its minimal press setup. It simplifies the print process, traditional plates and films are redundant, there is no press make-ready needed, no plate mounting and no registration adjustments. There are less steps and people involved in the printing process, and as a result the final product can be delivered quicker.
Making Colour Print More Affordable
Digital printing can produce good quality results in small quantities at a very reasonable cost. Previously, the set-up cost alone on a litho print press would have meant that a minimum order of 500 copies of a brochure would have to be printed, making the entry costs quite high.
Print Enables Smarter Marketing
Variable data printing gives direct marketing a highly effective way to talk to customers, allowing companies to tailor their message to their audience. Delivering the right message to the right people at the right time.
QR codes have also linked printed materials to the digital realm.
Digital printing can boost the green credentials of any company. Unlike conventional printing, there are no pre-press stages between the digital document file and the final print, so there is no need for, film, plates or photo chemicals.