drupa Essentials of Print: Raphael Ducos
With our series drupa Essentials of Print, we provide printing professionals with a platform to share their views on industry-related topics.
Consumers are saturated with digital information. They can however be positively sensitive (receptive) to different communications that engage them in a distinctive, personal way: invitations, brochures, books, photos, greeting cards, personalized documents using some of the advances in 21st century print: special colours (gold, silver, fluorescent, etc.), varnish, relief, new shapes, form-factors.
“We see a return of print, ten years ago it was cheesy, especially for young people, now you have to know how to mix print with other modes of communication,”
adds Mr. Coquard.
“We are rediscovering that a well-targeted print communication allows us to weave a link to customers”.
This is echoed in other industries where there is also a return to ‘the physical’ e.g. Polaroid images in photo and the Vinyl album in music.
We are heading towards more automation of the printproduction process – from receiving the order, managing the files to the shipping of the final print job. Customers want human proximity and fast turnaround time. These two requests are becoming more and more the key criteria for selecting service providers. But how to provide such capabilities when the client is miles away?
Equipment wise and in order to deliver the latest services, more and more service providers are starting to use digital printing and embellishments systems (e.g. MGI/ KonicaMinolta) or large format flatbed printing systems (e.g. SwissQprint) with associated cutting (e.g. Zünd). The digital transformation is in small and large format as well. Signage, posters, POS/POs, interior decoration, even textile or car-wrapping are now fully digital. Last but not least, environmental concerns are, for example, driving LED dryers to replace infrared dryers in all production printing systems. New substrates are changing the market landscape enabling new applications and reducing environmental impact.
Online printing factories with offset printing fleets, small and large format digital printers (e.g. Onlineprinters, Pixartprinting) will remain and will further grow, having conquered the various sectors of commodity printing. They will retain this, supported by customers who are also print service providers using them under the so-called white label.
If you want to know what the consequences of this developement are, you should head over to the full article here.
About the Author:
As journalist, Raphael Ducos has witnessed the printing industry for decades. He today operates as freelancer. He was one of the first journalists to advocate for digital at a time where digital was the “print enemy”. He was right in many ways. Raphael has a talent to identify emerging industry trends – he predicted the consolidation of the print service providers and the emergence of on-line printers. He is looking at things in a unique way. Maybe this is due to his educational background having a master in Philosophy.
Header Picture © Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann