Technology has played a role in the way people communicate since the dawn of humanity. Changes in technology we use to communicate, such as printing, can be linked to some of the biggest moments in history within the past few hundred years. Where would we be now if it weren’t for the Gutenberg printing press?
But of course, today’s commercial printing is a far cry from the simple printing of 1440. We can do a lot that we couldn’t do 600 years ago—exciting new technologies such as digital printing have even made it onto the scene, making it easier than ever to produce crisper and cleaner copy in mass quantities. Which begs the question: what is changing in printing today?
Changes in the World of Printing
It’s easy to look at technologies such as video games, computers, and smartphones and see their rapid evolution over the years. New models are being released in quick succession, each new option competing to have the latest features. The changes in commercial printing can be somewhat more difficult to see—but they are there. As already mentioned, digital printing is on the scene now, and it is making a big impact on what the printing industry is now capable of, so much so that digital printing now dominates, having numerous advantages over traditional offset and web printing.
Additionally, mobile print technology is now available, allowing individuals to connect to printing devices wirelessly with their mobile devices as needed. CRM systems allow companies in the printing industry to make better connections with their clients and customers and offer better website to print solutions. Above all else, printing companies have taken advantage of cloud computing as this gives individuals and businesses an easy way to store digital files and retrieve them from anywhere in the world, making it easier than ever to access the information they need for printing even large quantities from any web-connected device.
Is Digital Technology Killing Print Media?
“Print is dead”: it’s an often repeated phrase and, at this point, a bit trite. People have been saying that since the Internet first arrived on the scene, but print media has persisted and proven to naysayers it isn’t going anywhere. However, the digital age has changed the way we use print media—something that’s important for all printing companies working with everyone from small businesses to corporations to digital marketing agencies.
It’s vital to understand best practices when it comes to integrating digital and print technology. This is true from the technology we use in our printing processes to our marketing practices. For example, because of its usefulness for large production runs, offset printing can be kept as an alternative. The ability to choose between offset printing and digital printing and having both available allows companies to quickly produce lower amounts or take a little more time and produce a large volume of pieces.
As for marketing, print has always held an important place in the advertising world, all the way back to the 1600s, when ads appeared in newspapers for migration opportunities to the New World.
At this point, many people may think this is another death knell for traditional print. After all, with the Internet, much of the advertising that was once done through magazines, newspapers, and even with paper flyers is now done via Google Ads, Facebook, and social media. However, traditional printing is still a great starting point for letting people know their websites and social media exist, driving customers online.
Printing Into the Future
Printing is here to stay. So with that in mind, what can we expect to see as printing technology continues to grow and develop?
Some of it we have already seen, or at least are beginning to see. As there is a demand for it, and as printing technology improves, comes the ability to print materials on a wider and larger scale than ever before. Already we are seeing retailers using large format banners and decor to decorate their windows, walls, and floors as an inexpensive way to reach out to customers with brand messaging.
Online integration is also predicted to become a game-changer within the industry, with increasing automation and even the use of robotics. The idea of online integration can potentially be frightening for some, but who knows what possibilities this could bring to an industry that has always been a part of such exciting changes over the course of human history?
In fact, it is impossible to know what opportunities await as the world of print continues to grow and change. If you have any questions about new printing options, contact us at Priority Press to learn what we can do for your next project!