The global commercial printing market is poised for substantial growth over the next seven years. Technological proliferation along with increasing applications across various end-use segments is expected to drive the demand globally.
Commercial printers produce phone books, magazines, labels, brochures, advertising and product catalogs, newspaper inserts, corporate reports, direct mail marketing pieces, and other promotional materials such as financial printing, training manuals, and business forms. Advertising and product needs of business customers extensively drive the demand.
The profitability of individual companies is closely linked with effective sales operations. Large companies get a head run as they get advantages in procuring resources such as ink and paper, serving large customers with local or national needs, and efficiently using expensive print process equipment. Small companies offer better local services in a specific product category and are able to outrun the competition.
Offset technology is the most widely used commercial printing technology. However, there is a change in the trend from the conventional offset technology to advanced digital high-speed inkjet technology. This change is due to the fact that printing mails and other complex messages with inkjet printers is a more effective and efficient way than with the offset technology. These provide reduced costs for color prints and have better return on investments, and hence are adopted widely for a wide range of applications. The demand is majorly driven by advertising needs of businesses such as advertising firms and the volume of commercial print process is highly dependent on growth of the economy, particularly, the consumer spending power.
Based on the print technology used, the commercial print industry can be segmented into lithographic, digital, flexographic, screen, and gravure print technologies. In addition, other techniques that are used comprise letterpress, engraving, intaglio, and thermographic processes. Lithographic process is observed to be dominating the print industry, but is anticipated to lose market share to processes such as digital prints that are better suited to shorter print runs. Application segments include advertising, periodicals, labels and wrappers, office products, catalogs, and directories. Moreover, it can be used to print books, garments & other fabrics, financial & legal forms, documents, catalogs & directories along with office products.
The commercial print industry is expected to witness a surge in growth globally. The demand for packaging and advertising print processes is escalating in countries such as India, China, and Japan, which is poised to drive market development in this region. North American countries such as the U.S. and Canada are deemed to be early technology adopters, making a positive impact on the North America regional industry. European countries have largely focused on development of eco-friendly products and processes with an aim of creating a sustainable environment. Thus, these countries encourage the use of energy-efficient print solutions.
Vendors in this industry largely engage in printing on textile and apparel products, metal, glass, paper, and plastic, and provide after-sales support services such as plate-making, typesetting, and book binding. In addition, commercial printers offer four different services such as actual print process; design; finishing that includes folding, cutting, and binding; and the fulfillment, which includes packaging, storage, and shipping on a just-in-time basis. Furthermore, other auxiliary services include database management, packaging, along with training and consulting. However, decreasing sales and the falling unit selling prices are hampering the industry profits from manufacturers and service providers. Moreover, these companies need considerable initial investments to remain competitive, and maintain a consistent market shares. Introduction of digital media is increasingly replacing print form. The global recession has reduced the consumer spending and advertising budgets, which ultimately led to a drop in commercial printing.
Major industry players include ACME, Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA, Brown Co., Cenveo Inc., Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd., R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co., Lagardere SCA, Merrill Corporation, Quad/Graphics Incorporated, Quebecor World Inc., Toppan Co. Ltd., Transcontinental Inc., Vistaprint NV, Workflow Management Incorporated, and World Color Press Inc.
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