Although the growth and popularisation of online technology, cloud-based storage and portable devices had many people thinking that the golden days of printing were, indeed, over, it seems that the innovative and passionate spirit of today’s leading print entrepreneurs has, once again, paid off. Smithers Pira, international economic analysts, have forecasted an annual growth of 2% within the printing industry, due in large part to some of the more exciting developments within the printing world.
3D printing continues to dazzle tech enthusiasts, industry veterans and manufacturing companies around the world, due in large part to the versatility and power of this equipment. Although large-scale 3D printers have been in use for several years, the recent popularisation of consumer-grade 3D printing has many believing that a “print renaissance” has begun. 3D printing has found its way into schools, boutique shops, tech labs and design studios around the world, many of whom rely on this technology as a core aspect of their success and future growth.
That being said, conventional printing has not lost it’s shine just yet. Although the methods by which printing occurs have not changed significantly, the quality and craftsmanship of major print campaigns, such as Coke’s “Share A Coke” movement, have demonstrated that there still remains the possibility for attractive and exciting print campaigns that capture the imagination of audiences around the world.
Of additional interest within the consumer printing industry is “do-it-yourself” photo books and albums, fueled in large part by simultaneous innovation and growth in consumer-grade digital storage devices. This particular element of the printing industry makes up a significant portion of overall printing. It is estimated that over 20% of European photography enthusiasts plan on creating and printing a photo book within the next year.
When viewing information such as this, it may seem that the world of printing has a bright, secure future ahead of it. Although the long-term success of printing, particularly conventional printing, cannot be guaranteed, the short-term prognosis is undeniably positive. It will be particularly interesting to see how the seemingly disparate worlds of 2D and 3D printing fair in an already competitive marketplace during 2014. According to analysts, while 3D printing remains a somewhat new and “fringe” technology, the sheer number of companies and schools that have begun adopting these devices is a testament to the fact that they are not just a passing fad.