Subscribe

Copiers & Printers

The 9 Top Production Print Trends for the Rest of 2020

The 9 Top Production Print Trends for the Rest of 2020

by Brian Moran - August 31, 2020

2020 has been a staggering year for many industries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an economic crisis and forced businesses to rethink how and where they conduct operations. In the face of these changes, the printing industry continues to move forward, developing new techniques, new technologies, and new approaches to customer attainment and retainment.

The status quo in printing will never be the same, but by recognizing the current trends and understanding how to use them, professionals in the printing industry can continue strong operations. Best of all, they can do so with fewer layoffs, safer working conditions, and productive techniques.

Top 9 Trends in Production Printing

1. Continued Shift to Digital Printing

Numerous aspects of practically every industry are trending towards digital technology. The printing industry, of course, is no different, as digital printing continues to surge forward. Digital printing provides a convenient, affordable, and efficient way for printing digital content directly to a variety of different mediums.

Digital files like PDFs can be sent to a digital printer and printed on:

  • Paper,
  • Canvas,
  • Cardstock,
  • Plastics,
  • And more.

Smithers, a multinational consulting and information firm, says that the share of pages created on digital printers in 2019 was 17%; by 2024, that share will be 21%. This technology has the capability to reshape how companies conduct printing operations, and as digital printing becomes more common, the price will likely decline even further.

Get the Tools You Need

Businesses can take advantage of the speed and effectiveness of digital printing by using products like the Konica Minolta AccurioPress C6085 digital color press.

Konica_Minolta_AccurioPress_C6085_Digital_Color_PressThis powerful press allows professionals in almost any industry to increase output while delivering color quality and cost efficiency.

2. Focus on Sustainability

With increased pressure on businesses to maintain environmentally-friendly practices, and with a growing awareness and appreciation for these issues among business owners, the focus on sustainable practices will inevitably continue.

One of the ways that businesses have enhanced sustainability and reduced waste is through on-demand printing for customized materials. Previously, companies would have to place large orders to keep prices down; now businesses can order only what they need. If changes are needed at a later time, there are far fewer materials going to waste.

Printing facilities are also implementing in-house recycling centers to reduce waste. These centers can decrease wasted paper, ink, cartridges, and other byproducts of the printing process.

Get the Tools You Need

Businesses can join this trend through a variety of efforts. Most impactful will likely be repurposing scrap paper and other printing media, a simple but effective effort. Organizations with the right resources can also implement in-house recycling programs, equipment, and facilities.

3. Variable Data Printing Capabilities

Businesses that are highly involved in advertising often use mailers and other printed media to increase brand awareness, advertise products, and entice new customers. Previously, these printed items were all the same, but with Variable Data Printing (VDP) companies can create customized messaging for specific recipients. VDP uses software and data spreadsheets to automatically change the output of a digital printing press, making adjustments to personalize messaging.

For example, an auto dealer could use VDP to create customized mailers with individual customer names and vehicle types. Mailers for people who purchased SUVs could have images of SUVs, while mailers for customers who purchased trucks can have images of pickups.

Get the Tools You Need

Any business that invests in direct mail can implement VDP technologies. In theory, this can increase the rate of response and make customers more likely to purchase. Current data indicates that 80% of customers are more likely to purchase when retailers provide personalized suggestions.

4. Digital Label Printers

Instead of being on the waiting list of a busy printing firm, businesses are taking their printing efforts into their own hands, implementing digital label printers as part of their operations. Virtually every physical product needs a quality label, and digital label printers make it possible to print short-run packaging.

Digital label printers provide numerous benefits to users;

  • They are convenient, as businesses can produce high volumes of labels quickly and easily.
  • They allow for increased customization over traditional label printers with set colors, cuts and formats.
  • They allow on-demand results for special events, promos, and customer personalization.
  • They allow products to reach shelves faster, as businesses are not delayed by label printing.

Get the Tools You Need

Organizations can take advantage of this printing trend with the Konica Minolta AccurioLabel 230.

Konica Minolta AccurioLabel 230-1

This product is from the third redesign of Konica Minolta’s toner-based printer series, offering higher speeds on tack paper and tack films.

5. Expanded Product Offerings

It’s a challenging time for printing companies, and many groups are learning that in order to stay competitive, they need to expand the products and services they offer. While some are cautious about over-extending and reaching into sectors where they can’t be competitive, many are considering product options like printing enhancements and special effects.

Offering a variety of options gives businesses the chance to charge a premium rate for their services.

Get the Tools You Need

Companies that want to expand offerings can select the Konica Minolta AccurioPress C14000/C12000.

konica minolta accuriopress c14000-1

This machine can perform a diverse range of functions, including new finishing options and media compatibility.

6. Special Effects & Finishings

Companies and consumers expect more than a blank sheet of paper with a few words and stale imagery. In 2020 and beyond, special effects and eye-catching finishings will be vital as businesses fight to get the attention of their potential customers. The ability to lay down neon, white, clear, or custom toner in specific locations will enhance a printed piece and make it more attractive to the recipient.

Varnish can be added to create 2D or 3D effects, and foil, metallic, laminate, and gloss can now be added to documents. “Shimmering” can be added to draw attention to one or more areas of the print, and laser cutting can be used to create unique textures.

Get the Tools You Need

The Konica Minolta MGI JETvarnish 3D Evolution printer allows companies to add sensory dimensional textures to printed products. It can add automatic varnish and hot foil for enhanced visual results.

MGI JETvarnish 3D Evo Full Options CMYK outlined


7. Printing on New Substrates

The ability to print on a variety of substrates will enhance offerings and attract more customers to printing companies. Substrate versatility is one of the top selling points for a variety of industry products, as customers are looking for the ability to print to paper and non-paper materials.

Users can now print on:

  • Glass
  • Textiles
  • Metal
  • Packaging
  • Labels

The trend will likely continue and more substrates will become available for printing. Technology is allowing users to gain the same benefits (efficiency and customization) across countless materials.

Get the Tools You Need

The Konica Minolta MGI JETvarnish 3DS improves the printability of substrate material, regardless of the printing process. It can be used to print matte and glossy surfaces, layered paper, plastic, PVC, and other coated materials.

Konica_Minolta_MGI_JETvarnish_3DS_Industrial_Printing-1

8. Streamlining Workflows & Moving In-House

Regardless of the current market conditions, efficiency is important. Streamlining workflows is essential for any business that conducts printing operations, and many are achieving this efficiency by moving their processes in-house.

The benefits of bringing the printing process in-house are plentiful. Besides cost savings, there are also security and - during the current pandemic - health benefits for working in-house and not expanding contact to other printing services. Businesses can also achieve greater control and make changes in a swift manner. While large-scale printing of top-quality materials is still best done by commercial print facilities, companies are seeing positive results by bringing their printing in-house.

Get the Tools You Need

Thanks to high print speeds and high-quality black-and-white output, the Konica Minolta AccurioPress 6136 Digital Press allows organizations to bring their printing efforts in-house. This creates a more streamlined process and can result in faster changes and quicker project-completion times.

Konica_Minolta_AccurioPress_6136_Digital_Press-1

9. Short-Run Printing Focus

In the past, it was virtually impossible to find a printing firm that would print a single copy or a small run, at least at an affordable price. This was a simple matter of economics, as the labor involved in the offset-printing process made a small batch expensive on a per-sheet basis.

Digital printing reversed this trend, as on-demand printing in short runs is more cost-effective and efficient. With digital printing, it’s affordable for organizations to offer short-run printing services, opening their doors to more potential customers.

Get the Tools You Need

The Riso printers allow for efficient and cost-effective short-run printing, creating new opportunities for consumers while expanding the customer base for printing firms.

sf9490-1-1

Embracing the New Production Print Trends

As organizations continue to grapple with the ever changing business and printing landscapes through 2020, it’s key to remain flexible. Figuring out how to remain a viable production print business or in-house facility can be difficult, but knowing industry and consumer trends can help determine next best steps and guide teams as they adapt to the new demands of production print.


Subscribe to the Meridan blog

Sign up to receive the latest news about innovations in the world of document management, business IT, and printing technology.

meet with a meridian specialist
(855) 948-5679