Digital Color Printing – Still a Bright Spot for Production Printing

Posted on by Dave Erlandson | No Comments »

While overall page volumes of offset pages in production printing has been declining and the number of printing companies has been decreasing, color digital print page volume was up 17% in 2014 and now totals over 90 billion pages. And digital print volumes have grown every year since we started tracking them over ten years ago.

Digital Color Page Vol

Early on the growth was fueled by the new cutsheet toner products introduced to the market and this segment is still growing at about 7% per year. However, in the last several years the growth has been fueled by the new high speed continuous form inkjet presses. They have been making their mark in transactional printing, books and direct mail. And with new advances in image quality, substrate flexibility (ability to run on standard offset papers), inkjet cutsheet technology entering the scene we think the market has a bright future.

 

What makes this growth even more remarkable is that it has come in an industry where overall volumes are declining

US Census Printers

by 2-4% per year and the number of printing companies has been steadily decreasing. US Census data shows how 3 segments: commercial printers, quick printers, and digital printers have fared from 2002 to 2013 (most recent data available). In 2002 there were roughly 30,000 printing companies in these 3 segments and by 2013 the numbers have dropped to 20,000.  Only digital printers showed growth in this period and that growth has leveled off.  Commercial and Quick Printer numbers were in decline in 2002 and experienced an even faster rate of decline during the Great Recession. Now it looks like the number of Commercial Printers may be leveling off, but there are still a good number of acquisitions going on which will decrease the numbers further.

 

Despite the gloomy demographic trends digital color printing remains a bright spot for the industry

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