Printing and design industry growth

“Print is dead” has been the rallying cry of people outside the industry for decades. But the evidence indicates that in reality, the industry is going completely the other way: Printing and design’s growth has been pretty steady since the 2008 global recession. In fact, there are recent developing trends and investments which seem to support the fact that far from being dead, print is the place to be if you want to be an industry which is always going to be around. If you’re thinking about starting your own print or design business or buying into a franchise, the future of commercial printing is currently changing for the better…

Printing and design industry trends

Multi-channel marketing

  Every marketer knows that in order to get the very best brand loyalty levels and connect with as many consumers as possible, multi-channel marketing is absolutely necessary. More than simple partnerships between online marketing and printed media, the increasing trend towards multi-channel marketing seems to show that print marketing is growing to fill market niches being neglected by digital’s own expansion. This can include all manner of uniquely designed and personalised printed items, labels, packs and packaging as well as tailored versions of different products designed to target different segments of their audience. Of course, all of these items require individual design work as well as printing.

Online printing

    The companies and franchise opportunities which offer online printing – including easy web submission of files for printing as well as dispatch to customers’ chosen delivery locations – have been and continue to be in an excellent position to take advantage of changes in the print and design industry. Increasingly, the trend seems to show that instead of the original “race to the bottom” in terms of price, this part of the industry is starting to see a “race to the top” in terms of the quality of offering and the variety of high-quality finishing options – such as binding and laminating – which are available. Increasingly, this generation of consumers wants to buy specialist products online and aren’t worried about paying to get what they want.

Developing and emerging sectors

    New and emerging markets have started to create interesting new opportunities for the design and print sector in the past few years. Let’s take the example of the craft beer industry. Craft beer and artisan drinks brewers in Australia, the UK, the US, Germany and elsewhere have started to generate a large demand for one-of-a-kind labelling, packaging and branding for their products. In the UK alone in 2016, around £774 million of labels were required by the country’s artisan drinks industry.

The future of the printing and design industry

    These are by no means the only trends set to affect the printing and design industry in the next decade and more: From sustainability to supply chain consolidation (the need for which has already been recognised by many of the larger franchise owners and their franchisees) to a likely continuing trend for a larger volume of shorter print runs for many products, the industry is certainly changing. Or perhaps evolving might be a better word. Because from the increased demand for those products personalised for individuals and market segments to advances in print technology, new developments are set to continue. But with the entire marketing and advertising industry seemingly in the process of flocking to return to what print can offer, there is an increasing demand for a greater focus on careful messaging in terms of design paired with a likely need to continue towards complete convenience and flexibility in printing.
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