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Blog Post By Brendan Perring

We are thriving, not surviving

Hello dear reader, and it would appear we have not just survived another year as an industry, but actually thrived. I really feel that 2017 was a pivotal point for the print industry and the wider UK economy on several fronts. As an industry we have emerged from a time of turmoil, confusion, contraction, and rudderless travel.

I would urge you to read both Ahead of the Curve (p42 to 43) and our Interview With (p72 to 74) section from Print Monthly January, as you will see that our SMEs have found their feet. And while print is now one service among many for them, it remains a vitally important and profitable one for them.

This latter trend is in part due to medium-sized litho houses replacing outdated presses with new digital engines and outsourcing their long-run work to trade houses


Not only that but if you read both Trade Comment (p34) and our lead feature The State of Print (p45) you will find that litho is experiencing sales growth once again for new presses thanks to the growth in trade printers, while digital volumes are likewise increasing. This latter trend is in part due to medium-sized litho houses replacing outdated presses with new digital engines and outsourcing their long-run work to trade houses. But it is also due to a rapidly growing disenchantment with digital media platforms as a route to market. This trend is being driven by a massive over-saturation of the sector through products such as marketing e-mails, a perception of digital media as ‘low value’, and the desensitisation of consumers to digital media as it permeates their everyday lives through computer screens and mobile devices.

Yes, printed products such as personalised and high-quality direct mail are once again being seen as the panacea to solve marketing challenges. People still want to buy each other printed books for Christmas—you cannot put the digital data file of an e-book under the tree. And high-quality brochures using special effect finishes are once again being used by everyone from car showrooms to premier estate agents to create a lasting impression with potential customers and a perception that their products are of higher value.  So, while challenges still remain for those finding their own niche in a more stable print economy, let us go forth and embrace the real opportunities that are on offer.
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