Trends Shaping The Printing Industry and Market Outlook

Commercial printing has been consistently popular since the invention of the printing press. Community leaders, political figures, and many others quickly realized the value of mass printing capabilities. Much in the world changed as the centuries passed, but the attraction to printing options has remained constant.

Top 10 Trends In Commercial Printing

Commercial printing efforts continue to expand. Superb industry leadership and advanced technology allow new products and services to be added to the menu annually. Here are some of the biggest commercial printing trends expected to emerge throughout 2023.

1. Design Services

Even small printing franchises are beginning to hire a design team. In some cases, this may be one graphic designer. Other print companies are expanding to a team of graphic designers and digital print experts. Growing this business area ensures that companies are competitive in the marketplace. Rather than depending solely on print income, these companies can now earn revenue from logo design, retouching photos, and website design.

2. Shimmering

Two production techniques are expected to make a big statement in the coming year. Shimmering is a multi-part process that uniquely affects virtually any stock. The shimmering technique highlights one or more print design areas to make them stand apart from the rest of the page with a shimmering or even three-dimensional effect. These finished products are in high demand as restaurant menus, wedding invitations, and even business cards.

3. Laser Cutting

Laser cutting is the second major production technique expected to trend throughout 2023. This process is more intricate than shimmering and provides the same dramatic effect. Laser cutting can be used for accurate cuts on any stock to reach the correct finished size. However, it is quickly becoming more popular for the designs it can create on holiday cards and invitations. Laser cutting allows printers to accurately outline even the most delicate design, such as gentle leaves, and create a unique textured effect. Coupled with gold or colored foil, laser cutting will provide a beautiful finished product.

4. Digital Marketing

Commercial printing companies that offer digital marketing services are more likely to increase revenue and remain competitive. Digital marketing is one of the most effective forms of advertising available. One campaign can reach millions of prospects. Social media ads provide a great example of how one looping piece can repeatedly reach targeted viewers indefinitely. Digital marketing services also include website hosting services and many other products. Printing companies that offer podcast creation, email marketing, and other services can substantially grow their businesses throughout 2023.

5. Mail List Sourcing

Many companies use household mail opportunities to increase their exposure in the community. Restaurants, fitness centers, and shopping outlets offer local residents grand opening benefits and coupons. Mail lists have been readily available to businesses for more than two decades. Today, it is easier than ever to customize these lists based on various variable demographics. Advertisers who want to reach a specific age group, income bracket, or lifestyle preference can quickly access the contact information. Commercial printers who source their own mail lists for customers reduce overhead and increase their profit margins.

6. Direct Mail Campaigns

Direct mail marketing campaigns are one of the most basic forms of advertising. These custom designs can be sent through an individually sourced list or included in a packet of offers from multiple companies. Direct mail advertising is a consistently effective form of reaching new customers. There are also obvious benefits for existing and inactive customers. Direct mail campaigns are inexpensive and great for companies to keep their image and services in the public eye. This aspect of printing is expected to continue on an upward trend in 2023.

7. Print Ready Art Sources

One of the most critical areas of industrial printing is the print resolution of source images. Many customers know what they are looking for and assume that any photo will produce a stellar finished product. Designers often have to request new artwork from their customers, preferably a high-resolution Adobe InDesign version. Text documents must be reviewed and typeset to create a polished finished document. Technological advancements have created a promising new trend in commercial printing for 2023. Smartphone technology and advanced cameras make it easy for novice users to provide print-ready art to commercial printers. The reduced design time will keep costs low for end users and increase revenue for specialists in the print industry.

8. Recycling Efforts

The commercial printing industry is notorious for waste. This is an unavoidable cost of doing business in most cases. Setting up a press or high-speed copier for a particular job often requires up to 50 sheets of waste. Mixing inks and setting rollers or die sheets in the exact spot for printing is time-consuming and requires several trial and error test runs. Concerted efforts across the industry have been made to reduce waste on these machine setups. Likewise, scraps from cutting are being re-purposed whenever possible. Rolls of paper and other materials are available in unique and varied sizes to avoid excess cutting and additional waste. Many printing facilities will increase their recycling efforts in 2023 and include in-house recycling centers that decrease waste. Liquid inks, toner cartridges, and other printing byproducts are also being recycled to prevent excess waste.

9. Specialization

There are two basic ways that commercial printing companies can expand their footprint in the industry’s marketplace. Companies specializing in a particular good or service are valuable to the industry in several ways. Specialized goods and services like rare paper stocks, precision laser cuts, and popular promotional items are used by virtually every commercial printing company. Companies that can corner the market or purchase wholesale items are in a good position to service other printers in the area. Businesses that serve a particular product or service can hone their industry and act as a broker or wholesalers. In 2023, many commercial print companies will choose to specialize in one area and become leaders of a particular niche.

10. Diversification

Another way that commercial printers can set themselves apart from others in the industry is through diversification. Many motivated leaders started in the printing world through a franchise or small print and copy store. Over time, these savvy entrepreneurs realized that continued growth and success require expansion. Sometimes, they branch out into other print-related areas, like signage or digital marketing. Some of the fastest-growing print companies have absorbed other companies to diversify. They find out which companies excel in a particular industry, like vehicle wraps or corporate branding, and partner with them. Diversification in 2023 will continue to be a viable trend for the commercial printing industry.

Not much is left to chance with commercial printing. The industry will be necessary if companies use business cards, calendars, and stationery. With an average growth of about 4% per year, even small printing companies can survive market declines. The revenue stream increases through specialization or diversification, and annual growth doubles. The coming year and beyond will prove interesting for commercial printers. Political campaigns, including yard and large commercial signs and direct mailers, will provide more than enough revenue for commercial printing startups.

Commercial Printing Industry Stats and Growth Projections

  1. 25,000 US companies specialize in commercial printing
  2. Commercial printing generates nearly $900 billion in annual revenue
  3. Digital print, including advertising, grows at an average of 10% annually
  4. 72% of corporations utilize direct mail campaigns
  5. Technological efficiencies have increased the profit margin by more than 20% in the past five years.

Understanding the growth potential and steady interest in commercial printing shows that the industry is still booming. It is also easy to understand why many companies expand their annual print budgets to increase their market exposure.