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Out of Paper, In to Print?

Out of Paper, In to Print?

10 key printing trends to be aware of at #drupa2016

For years, I took print for granted. Not anymore. We live in a world of memes, mash-ups, and hybrids. Co-creation is the future and the future is now in the print industry. It is an exciting time when we can print our own bicycles, foods and organs from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world. The print industry is re-distributing the future right in front of us.

We are witnessing the intersection between disciplines, verticals and ideas, encouraging diversity of thought and exchanges on the future of the print industry. It’s about the collision between creativity and industrial prowess at this year’s drupa.

Here are ten trends for intersectional thinkers in the print industry

1. E-literates

Consumers are more active than ever before, and have become both the maker and creator of their own print products. They are social media and technology savvy, and consume and spend with purpose and intent. True e-literates are ageless, they do not like labels such as millennial – they like meaning and content to create their world. 

2. Small data

The print industry is increasingly informed by the individual’s need-based user habits.  It is about analytics, behaviours, preferences, real-time, push media, the personal and the customised. There needs to an understanding of the minutiae of the individual’s actions, attitudes and habits, as this will help foster a new era in print.

3. Shelf stacking

Shelf stacking is an art form that has been perfected over time. In order to save money and time, value stores such as Lidl, Asda and Costco literally cut through the front of boxes, stacking them in bulk on shelves. A new way of working was born as well as a new trend – retail ready.

4. Retail ready

Begat by shelf stacking, this is a self-contained shelf eco-system. Retail ready packaging (RRP) represents an intersectional solution to creating visually attractive product displays by utilising the packaging itself.   

5. Fabbing

This is a technique used in 3D printing that enables the creation of ready-made objects, such as working parts and scale models – you think it and print it into reality.

6. Low waste

A product of fabbing and retail ready, and influenced by an informed e-literate society, sustainability and efficiency is a key driver in the print world today. The industry is more ethically aware, and there is a greater understanding of the production chain as well as demand for smart solutions.

7. Craft movement

Peoples’ penchant for authenticity and an artisan lifestyle has extended to the print industry. Consumers are increasingly seeking a handmade look-and-feel, genuine brand statements and products that reflect a natural and personal ethos.

8. Personalisa/nation

A new era of personalisation (personalisa/nation) is emerging. People are increasingly seeking personalised experiences, products and brands. Print is responding with a new agility, rejuvenated by the potential to make it all about you and your world.

9. Brand augmentation

People will be able to ‘Frankenstein’ their favourite brands to their liking. New print technologies are enabling people to tailor their favourite brands as they please, extending the brand experience and at times creating hybrids and mash-ups.

10. Re-inventors  

There are the new breed of idea mavericks designing the innovationscape – the mavericks who are shaping print innovation. Who is the next Gutenberg, Branson or Banksy, disrupting and transforming the print industry? Is it you?

This information was presented during a TrendLab session Jordan delivered as part of the drupa cube conference programme on 1 June, which is taking place alongside drupa at the Messe in Dusseldorf, Germany. 


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Jordan waid

Jordan Waid

VP, Experience Design International

His unique background of architecture, digital media, and film allows him to constantly challenge experiential communication models with fresh ideas that engage at all levels for some of the biggest brands on the planet. An inspired thought leader, Jordan’s creative vision, insight, and conceptual...

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