Current Print Trends: 2017 UW-Stout CMGM — Mitch Miller

Commercial Print is HUGE and it is here to stay!

Economic conditions impact on print, between 2010-2014 the largest economies in Western Europe and North America experienced some declines in print, but this sparked some technological improvement such as...

- Sheet fed presses print up to 16 pages of letter-sized product at a time, with up to 15,000 impressions per hour.

- Web presses print 32 pages at a time at speeds over 40,000 impressions per hour, and are usually used for production runs of more than 50,000 copies.

- Print on Demand

- Personalized and Variable Data

- Going Green

PI World expects a 1% increase in the commercial print industry in the upcoming year due to a better economy and the advancements in technology. The industry has made a shift away from the traditional offset printing to more variable, flexible or cost efficient methods.

Sustainability has become an industry must for print companies

Their are different accredited companies such as SGP that analyze printing companies, to make sure they are purchasing paper from a supplier that is committed to reforestation and eliminating an eco-footprint. The SGP partnership is determined to have continual improvement in the print industry and do everything to lower environmental impact and raise social awareness.

Innovations in vegetable oil inks and other environmentally friendly inks are here right now. They are better for the environment than the other inks which to be cleaned requires harsh chemicals and large amounts of water to be disposed.

Many other industries are working towards sustainability and print is kicking their butt's. Print has made a massive surge for sustainability and it has been answered. Social awareness is still low, but the industries leaders have all jumped on the sustainability train together!

Print on Demand

A Digital Revolution: Print on demand is especially useful for school books, which are updated so often, travel photo books, self-published manuscripts, office stationery, product catalogs, calendars and so on.

With effective web-to-print services, a business can upload their own graphics or materials through the Cloud and then order commercial printing that can be shipped to anywhere around the world.

80% of offices in the United States, according to reporting from Mimeo, are deciding to use less paper in this office. This also offers the commercial printing industry an opportunity to meet new B2B needs.

This creates a need for custom content that the commercial printing industry will be able to help create and/or distribute. 76% of shoppers say they feel better about a company after reading their custom content.

According to Jeff Bullas, marketing teams were forecast to spend $135 billion dollars on new digital marketing content this year.

Content marketing costs 62% less than other forms of marketing and generates up to 3x more leads when compared to traditional commercial printing and marketing efforts.

More than 3 billion people may be using social networks by 2020, which creates a high level need for digital print information.

Consumer engagement increases by nearly 40% when there are graphics which accompany custom content.

The New Age of Digital Print, is Right Now!

Variable Print:

In relation to print marketing, variable printing allows small businesses to reach their audiences in different ways. It could be something simple like a promo postcard with a client’s name on it to something a little more complex like coupons specially numbered to monitor which customer has used which coupon. Even custom images can be used to make the experience more unique for the customer and potential customers.

Using the approach of variable printing in direct mail helps the target audience feel special and thus, have greater chances of turning leads into sales.

Variable print ads even in direct mailers can have a return of 30% compared to traditional direct mailers that average about 1% returns. These are both still a better option than an e-mail advertisement that has a return of between .01 - .03% returns.

With this new ability the printer can vary any content they choose, whether it is the name, the graphics, the brand, literally anything to better target the possible consumer. At GLS / Next Precision Marketing they made a variable print advertisement that had a superhero comic strip 8 page book. The main character varied between a male and female superhero depending on who the direct mail advertisement was going.

Common Direct Mail Variable Print
Small Business still relies heavily on print marketing

In the end, the Print Industry is massive, after a small decline from economic pressures and digital trends it has adapted and made improvements in technology, sustainability and efficiency. With these improvements in print on demand, digital print, web-fed print and variable data the print industry is on the rise, even in this new digital age.

The End

Works Cited:

Dezeenmagazine. ""Print on Demand Has Completely Changed the Way We Think about Books"." YouTube. YouTube, 22 Aug. 2013. Web. 07 May 2017.

Gaille, Brandon. "30 Stunning Commercial Printing Industry Trends." BrandonGaille.com. N.p., 13 Jan. 2017. Web. 07 May 2017.

"Green & Sustainability." Printing.org. Printing.org, n.d. Web. 07 May 2017.

"Print Is Not Dead: Current Trends in Printing Services." Bay State Envelope. BayState Envelopes, 05 Feb. 2015. Web. 07 May 2017.

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