Many sources say that we are now living in what’s known as the post-digital age. In this age, digital has become commonplace; it is simply a backbone in everyone’s day-to-day living. For this reason, just being present online cannot set a business apart. What matters now for, is the creation of value, being able to stay relevant, and using multiple channels to support the former two aims.
This is exactly why we won’t be waving goodbye to the print industry any time soon. When it comes to integrating digital and traditional marketing efforts, the print industry plays a huge role in creating a brand experience. But what exactly is the future of print?
As a leading provider of office software, multifunction copiers, and robust printing systems, Busys.ca is passionate about new print technologies. This article talks about how technology is enhancing and reshaping the print industry at large.
Let’s get started!
1. The Rise of Web-to-Print (W2P)
E-commerce has been growing steadily over the years and has become even more widely adopted after the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the best ways that businesses in the print industry can execute an e-commerce business model is by setting up Web-to-Print.
Web-to-Print, also called Web2Print or W2P, is essentially a way to take your printing business online. Basically, Web2print operates as an online ordering platform that can be accessed via a web browser.
Most Web-to-Print applications feature a library and an interface to upload branded files, where customers can customize their orders as necessary. Details like print method, print area, and type of material to be used can all be specified in one sweep. Some applications may also allow for automatic quote generation so that the customer instantly knows how much the print order will cost.
All in all, a Web-to-Print setup saves time for both the clients and the printing business. Orders can be placed quickly with a high rate of personalization, and quotes are instantly available. Businesses in the print industry can thus receive orders in higher volumes with this seamless system that leverages the natural (and growing) inclination toward e-Commerce. Web-to-Print is is definitely one of the key pillars that will shape the future of print.
2. Digital Inkjet Printing vs. Offset Printing
For many years, offset printing dominated the print industry. In fact, offset printing has been the standard when it comes to producing high-quality prints for magazines, newspapers, brochures, advertising materials, and more.
Offset printing was able to take the lead because of its higher-quality printing, lower costs for high volume printing orders, and faster printing for high volume printing orders. However, as inkjet becomes more refined for production printing, the quality of prints that it produces is able to rival that of offset printing. To the untrained eye, prints may even look entirely identical.
Though offset printing still dominates in terms of printing speed, digital inkjet printing is recommended for higher numbers of small-volume orders. This is because digital printing requires no additional step when switching from one print job to the next.
As it stands, it’s not a question of whether to replace offset printing with digital inkjet technology altogether. Instead, ask yourself if your business can achieve a better workflow and serve customers more efficiently with an additional printer that uses digital inkjet.
Digital Inkjet for Web-to-Print and SMBs
Tying back to our first point on Web-to-Print gaining traction, digital inkjet is likely to ride this wave as well. With this level of accessibility and seamless price quotations, businesses in the print industry can expect to receive more orders from upcoming small-to-medium-sized businesses. These businesses are likely to need marketing materials and customized e-commerce packaging to strengthen their brand.
Such orders may start small and only scale up through time — if you plan on opening up your print business to this kind of market (or even focusing on this niche), having a high-quality production inkjet printer will be a beneficial asset.
With all this said, it’s clear that inkjet printing is already reshaping the future of print, and further advancements in this technology will influence the industry even more.
3. Eco-Conscious Digital Printing and Erasable Ink
We can’t talk about the future of printing without also tackling the environmental or sustainable aspects of this industry. Consumers are continuing to show a preference for businesses that consciously try to lessen their environmental impact on the planet.
There are also a number of regulations set for inkjet printers that will challenge both printer manufacturers and printing businesses alike, such as the Minamata Convention on Mercury, The Paris Agreement, and so on.
A related and recent printer ink innovation (that is yet to be widely used in production printing) is erasable ink. There are now multifunction printers that make use of this type of ink which can be erased with UV light, thereby rendering the material reusable for another purpose. Time will tell if this type of ink technology will be adapted for larger-scale digital inkjet production printers.
4. Hello, 3D Printing
From 2022 to 2030, the 3D printing industry is expected to grow exponentially. Owners of printing businesses may be interested in taking on this literal “next dimension” of printing to add to their scope of services.
There are numerous business models that one can create around a reliable 3D printer. And since printing businesses already have experience handling printing orders (albeit in the 2D version), there’s no doubt that they’ll have an advantage upon entering the 3D printing industry as well.
Step Into the Future of Production Printing With Busys
Whether you’re looking to set up or optimize your printing business, Busys.ca is here to help. We’re a trusted provider of cutting-edge production printers and efficiency-boosting software solutions that will help your business step into the future of its industry with absolute confidence.
Contact our team today to learn more!