The Trends Print Businesses Need to be Ready For
Mathew Faulkner, EMEA Marketing and Innovation Director, Wide Format Printing Group, Canon Europe shares the current print trends businesses should be prepared for. These trends include the rise in personalisation, sustainability and automation.
FESPA Global Print Expo 2023 comes at a time when we are seeing a return to solid growth across the wide format printing industry and vertical markets, stimulated by the recovery of live events, conferences and trade shows. Against this positive backdrop, three key topics continue to drive conversations and change: personalisation, sustainability and automation.
Having been a talking point in print for some time, it seems that personalisation’s moment has finally come, driven by a combination of consumer demand and technological capability. Many consumers are no longer satisfied with off-the-shelf items and instead, want products that express individuality. This trend is driving growth in personalised garments, gifts and décor, all of which is good news for print.
Major online printers have led the way by creating user-friendly interfaces for consumers to order unique and bespoke products, and the wider sector is likely to follow and reap the benefits of the increased margins that come with the ability to create customised print.
The last few years have made us all think more about our living spaces, which has driven demand for more individualised interior décor. Homeowners want everything from unique feature walls to customised wallpaper, and print service providers (PSPs) are making this a reality, with easy online tools to select and even create custom décor.
And there’s no question that the way we browse and shop for products has changed. The rise of e-commerce is opening new opportunities for brands to use promotional print and packaging, optimise the ‘unboxing experience’ and stimulate further purchases. Personalisation is set to make further inroads in packaging too, with more versioning and individualised promotional packaging, with digital on-demand printing technology playing the enabling role.
No discussion of current trends would be complete without talking about the environment. While conflict and political unrest, and the economy dominate the headlines, the current and future threat to our planet is inescapable – and it’s shaping the future of print, as well as other industries. Consumer concern for the environment is rippling along the supply chain, and print businesses around the world have no choice but to address their environmental performance and look for ways to reduce waste, energy consumption and overall carbon footprint.
We’re seeing that sustainability is a considerable factor in most technology investments, and PSPs will increasingly be looking at solutions such as renewables – partly motivated by the current energy crisis. Many will also be seeking to reinforce their own credentials with appropriate certifications, as well as engaging in carbon offsetting and reduction schemes and ensuring their product portfolio has the right level of sustainable choices to offer, such as fibre-based and PVC-free media. More and more PSPs are also embracing the creative and operational advantages of digital print-on-demand, to make efficiency gains and reduce waste.
Hand in hand with waste reduction goes automation. The drive among many print producers to automate print workflows was boosted by the operational challenges of lockdowns and social distancing in workplaces. Post Covid, this automation wave rolls on, as print businesses of all sizes look for more ways to eliminate errors and repetitive tasks, while channelling precious skilled resources into creating value for customers and adding to the bottom line.
At FESPA 2023, we’ll be sharing technology solutions that help customers to embrace these trends and drive their success. The new streetscape stand design showcases the creative and commercial scope of a wide variety of large format graphics output in settings such as retail and hospitality, using applications ranging from promotional graphics to décor and packaging, printed and finished on a host of Canon Production technologies.
We’re challenging our customers to ’Make It Big’, by producing work that pushes the boundaries, creating new products that leave a lasting impression, and pursuing opportunities to expand into new markets, such as interior décor and personalised packaging. Whether it’s through sheer size, design, colour, special effects or personalised applications – the bigger the impact, the bigger the value, and the better the growth and success.
To find out more about our large format graphics products and solutions and witness the unveiling of a new addition to our Arizona flatbed printer family, come and meet the Canon team on stand B2-B10.
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