Romancing Print 2014: Peter Rego’s eight future print trends

Peter Rego, general manager, Heidelberg India during Romancing Print 2014 touched upon various general trends that are enveloping the printing industry. From his presentation we picked up the following trends that will define the future of print industry:

23 Jan 2014 | By Supreeth Sudhakaran

1. Industrialised print production: The industrialised print production is an inevitable trend. However, what is a pre-requisite to it is establishment and implementations of processes for standardisation. This means that in future big print houses will see interconnected systems, solutions and technologies. Nevertheless, the downside is that big printers using such connected machines and solutions might win over jobs, which will affect more small and medium sized printers.

2. Coexistence of technologies: After years of tussle for supremacy and existence, the industry has finally realized that both conventional master-based printing technologies and digital printing will coexist. In future, both the technologies will complement each other.

3. Advent of inkjet printing solutions: In last few years, inkjet print solution developers have worked on the nuances of the technology and are increasingly receiving greater acceptance from the market. The technology offers and will continue to offer a large variety of solutions stating from office printing to printed manufacturing.

4. Integration of different printing process in one press: The trend has already picked up with both manufacturers and customers looking for customised printing presses. The most recent example of this is that a European customer has opted for a 16 unit press that includes various print technologies.

5. Refinements in design: The markets are driving the demand for brand differentiation and newer enticing packaging designs. This means that the print packaging industry too will have to embrace for refinement in designs and processes.

6. Media convergence: RFID, QR Codes, static image to video—media convergence enabled by technology changes is penning an exciting time. Several brand owners have already started testing augmented reality as a tool to attract customer attention. Mobile communication and print are being fused together to create new features and business concepts.

7. Smart packaging: In addition to the design changes at the development level, brands are now adopting interactive designs and animation at the point of sale. According to a report, around 80% of purchase decisions are made during the first 10 seconds of first interactions with the packaged product. And finally,

8. Going 3D: Emergence of additive manufacturing and 3D printing has opened new avenues such as functional printing and printed electronics for printers to explore. In fact, during Labelexpo Europe, a well-known printer from India shared his keen interest in starting a venture based on 3D printing technology.

While few of the trends have already started taking shape around us, many of the print gurus have being predicting these trends to invade our markets sooner than we expect. What we need now is an action plan to not only assimilate and adopt the trend but also to develop revenue generating business model.