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In the Paper Biz? Digital Printing Trends to Watch In 2020

Digital printing is on the rise in popularity, partly due to the fact that the technology behind the digital press is advancing, but also due to an increase in customer demand. Here are some trends to watch in the upcoming months.

Simplified Soft Signage

The rigid, heavy substrates usually used for trade shows, retail, and backlit displays are being replaced by digitally printed textile signage that is easy to install and switch out as often as needed. Textiles are being developed that will run smoothly on wide format printers and methods of clipping the signs into frames are being refined.

Going Green In The Printshop

More and more customers will be looking for Earth-friendly options when it comes to their print solutions. This means the printable media should either be recyclable or come from recycled materials. Hewlett-Packard (HP) has produced a canvas that uses 22 recycled water bottles in every square meter of canvas. A number of big brands are beginning to follow the earth-friendly trend and will insist on sustainable packaging that can be recycled, reused or are able to be composted.

Decor Goes Digital

As the options for printing fling wide open, the digitally printed decor will cross over from retail and hospitality to residential uses to. Canvas wraps, wall murals, and covers are just the start. As the technology and materials become smarter and easier to handle, windows, floors and even ceilings will become canvasses for digitally printed decor. Customization software is becoming more widely available.

Ecommerce

Allowing your customers to upload their own artwork that can be applied to, and printed on a variety of print products will give you the edge over your competition. The possibilities are pretty limitless – notebooks, t-shirts, wall decor, and canvas wraps to name a few.

Digital Paper Trends

Digital printer controlled with app.Inkjet paper is expanding into the direct mail, commercial and publishing markets. The popularity of coated papers designed for inkjet are also on the rise. Paper mills have shifted their focus toward produced paper suitable for graphic oriented print. Not just the types of paper being produced, but also the digital sheet sizes are becoming wider and more complex. Caliper ranges are growing too, to keep pace with the improving equipment.

The Pressure Is On For Print Service Providers (PSPs)

Customers are insisting on quick turn-around times, versatility, low costs, and high quality. To meet their customer’s needs, a PSP needs to have access to the paper they’ll need to meet orders placed.

Inkjet Takes On Offset

Inkjet is slowly but steadily moving into areas of printing that were previously dominated by the offset printers. Traditionally, offset printing offered high quality for large quantities of printing, at a rapid speed. Inkjet is making inroads into this market as they are able to take on the smaller print runs with ever-improving quality on a variety of digital, imaging, and office paper.

Markets

The markets for digital printing have expanded far beyond what traditional PSPs used to serve. These include

  • Medical/pharmaceutical
  • Banking/insurance
  • Travel/hospitality
  • Automotive
  • Fashion
  • Packaging/labeling

Influencing Factors

Brands Demand Customization

Big-name brands are demanding broad customization for their businesses on everything and anything. This is pushing PSPs to think outside the box and keep their equipment and services cutting edge.

Automation

Smarter printers are becoming more common. They require less direct human oversight, which frees up PSP staff to attend to other jobs or customers, speeding up the process of meeting customer’s needs.

Paper Is Here To Stay

In the midst of all the trends and fashions, we know that one thing is a guarantee; paper is here to stay. It may change shape, size, and content, but it will always be with us. No matter what your paper needs are, contact our staff today for assistance.