The success of print is in the creator not the producer.

Much of this blog was inspired by and summarizes portions of Dr. Joe Webb’s Connect 2018 keynote address, “On the Right Side of Creative Destruction.”

The times, they are a changin’
The decline of traditional print and commoditization of some traditional sign and display graphics applications is a reality we cannot ignore. The print landscape is changing and evolving, and that requires us, ultimately, to change along with the terrain and look for new and profitable opportunities – opportunities that may not be so obvious at first. 

A marketplace unsure of print
Traditional print consumption, print produced by commercial printers, continues to decline year over year. Many would say the Internet is the biggest culprit to this decline. Almost everyone has immediate access at their fingertips to the information they seek. The web, Google, YouTube and other social media outlets have made it incredibly easy for us to find and get information when and in the format we want – lessening the need for information in a printed form.

There are many more producers of banners, signs and displays entering the print segment, as well, often times with low cost inkjet equipment and little knowledge of the print business. The emergence of these print providers, thirsty to put their stake in the ground and offering low, hard-to-compete-against pricing, has disrupted the marketplace and caused a lot of traditional sign and display graphics products to become a commodity.

The decline of traditional print and the commoditization of some signage has produced a generation of potential print buyers and print specifiers that are unfamiliar and intimidated by print, with little to no experience with nor an understanding of what’s possible with print. And it has left print providers with a choice: Move or be left behind.

The importance of creativity and digital print
All hope is not lost, and print is not dead. It just means we need to pursue and educate the marketplace on the new, creative ways print can be used to break through and stand out in a big way among all of the clutter. It does require a shift in mindset, your offering and the technology that will provide you with the capabilities to capture new, profitable opportunities.

No, print is not dead, but “not dead” is not the same as “alive” either
Creativity IS the key. “Successful and profitable print relies on the skill, creativity, flexibility and adaptability of its creators not its producers (thanks, Dr. Joe).”

Digital printing dominates new, creative opportunities, and the choices and capabilities in digital print are expanding. Download the Capturing the Next Evolution of Wide Format Opportunities white paper. It explores how printers can capitalize on some of the newest wide format print opportunities in today’s evolving industry. 

Capitalizing on premium-margin applications with premium printing capabilities in 2018
This focus on creativity will allow you to add specialty applications and enter into specialty markets. But first you need the right tools. EFI’s extensive VUTEk hybrid inkjet product line can enable sign, graphics, and visual communications companies to expand their offerings and penetrate new and emerging market segments. These production level, roll-fed/flatbed printers offer superior image quality, LED technology for printing on a wide range of unique and specialty materials, white and clear inks, multi-layer printing capabilities, and inks specially designed for direct to substrate printing of thermoform-able applications.

Get our “6 Ways to Rocket Your Capabilities with Inks, Substrates, Coatings & Imagination” eBook. It has six very cool digital ink printing techniques that will open the door to a full range of profitable possibilities, igniting your print business and accelerating your bottom line.

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Want more? Our “Layering White & Clear Ink Idea Book” details how you can layer white and clear ink for all kinds of amazing and creative ideas.

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