Whether we choose to buy into it or not, every new year brings expectations—the new year in digital print is no exception. From constant improvements in CTP printing to advances in quality control and color quality, manufacturers and distributors have witnessed both the commercial and consumer printing markets’ adjustments to digital printing slowly gather steam since its introduction into the marketplace. With all of the changes the printing industry as a whole has undergone this year, what will the face of digital print look like in 2007?
Observing the larger digital culture reveals the nation’s desire for customization, with the popularity of Web sites such as YouTube (which was sold to Google for $1.65 billion last year) and Myspace (which hit an account total of 100 million in 2006), as well as the continued financial success of iTunes. This overall trend also reflects the wants of digital print’s customers.
According to industry professionals, aspects of customization in digital printing should be a defining factor of the market in 2007. With demand for customization comes the further custom integration of offered products and services. Similar to Web consumers expecting individualization, digital print customers will come to expect their vendors to provide one-stop, custom services. The streamlined organization of data will also be in high demand. Here, five business leaders share their views on the future of digital printing.
Barbara Pellow, president, Electronic Document Systems Foundation, Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.:
“Software and digital technologies have streamlined traditional offset workflow. Digital printing has become the norm for ultra-short-run print jobs, both black-and-white and color. Through digital technology and the Internet, 2007 will see graphic communications service providers integrate more tightly with their customers’ business processes. Graphic communications service providers will extract value from becoming part of supply chain management systems for documentation and supporting Web-to-print solutions to effectively distribute marketing materials. They will start to help clients with multi-channel marketing campaign management solutions that have both electronic and print components. All of these new services will drive print volume, as well as
provide new sources of revenue from value-added services.”