Shifting strategies and new adaptations lead to a rethinking of what it means to be a printer in today’s marketplace.
“For centuries, the printing industry flourished as consumers had increasingly more disposable income to spend on goods such as books and magazines. It was no coincidence that marketing became an integral aspect of business models, resulting in the proliferation of posters, leaflets, brochures, billboards and the like,” writes Elizabeth Matsangou in World Finance.
“While this was the case for the greater part of the 20th century, a throng of new challenges is permeating the print industry’s latest chapter,” she continues.
Those challenges, fueled by the rise of digital media and exacerbated by the financial meltdown at the end of the last decade, have been seen by many as a huge threat to the very existence of print. To others, including here at Freeport Press, it’s been a time of growth and a new awareness of the value of print in the marketplace.
As Matsangou notes, “the printing industry places a supporting role to every sector and market; all businesses, governmental bodies and educational enterprises require printed materials.”
“The result is far greater competition between printing firms, which is heightened further through globalised networks that can quickly locate the most cost-effective source,” she notes.
While many printers did indeed close, and so many others consolidated, there are some that took the opportunity to evolve, investing in new technology and becoming more fluent in marketing to be of greater service to their clients. It’s these printers, Matsangou explains, that are leading the resurgence of printing in this decade.
Matsangou gives a good breakdown of the specific challenges and changes in the printing industry over the past several years. And yet she sees clearly that there is and always will be a demand for printed materials, thanks in large part to their permanency.
“Nowadays, content on the internet vanishes as fast as it appears. A swift scroll and its gone. Among the endless barrage of posts – in any format they happen to come in – it is increasingly difficult to see the wood from the trees, namely the valuable, interesting and informative from the time-wasters,” she writes. While a book or magazine, she continues, has the lure of time on its side, unchanging and always accessible.
It is this very nature of print, and the printers who have taking on the opportunity where others succumbed to the threat, that are ensuring the industry continues to evolve and thrive to meet our customers’ needs. What an honor it is to do the work we do.