The printing industry has weathered a difficult storm in 2009 and can look forward to a bright future, according to Canon Europe’s 3rd annual survey of print service providers.
Conducted by Prof. Emiratus Frank Romano and a graduate team from the USA’s Rochester Institute Of Technology, the survey in fact found that digital printing output rose by 27.2% in Western Europe in 2009 - while lithograph outputs fell 18.1%.
The figures suggest digital equipment offered a lease of life to the 840 printers surveyed. Though clients required smaller print runs during the recession, firms with digital equipment could provide these – unlike litho printers, whose equipment limited them to providing large runs no longer in demand.
This may explain why 81 of the printers surveyed in 2008 were no longer in business or had merged.
The survey also found that 86% of printers felt signage printing with wide format machines helped to weather the downturn. A large market for display printing in 2010 might drive future growth – which printers felt optimistic about.
Finally, printers who focused on select markets and provided multi-media services to their customers felt these helped them survive the recession. Printers used value-added services to differentiate themselves and promote loyalty.
The Canon press release for the survey – which is available in full from May 2010 – is available here.