The Rise of Online Print Orders and the Print Platform Economy
eCommerce, along with the increased use of web-to-print solutions, is all set to reshape direct-to-consumer business. By 2030, global online ordering will be the norm for both printed goods and printed packaging. It is a business imperative for companies to invest in web-to print systems and online ordering. As businesses head in this direction it becomes easier for buyers to make price and service comparisons, thereby emphasizing services. The new eCommerce model consists of shorter orders with greater expectation of faster turnaround and next-day delivery. It pushes the broader adoption of smoother workflows coupled with efficient digital and automated printing, finishing, and distribution.
Packaging is now front and center.
Amazon may have kicked off today’s packaging innovation as they have shown the world how well-designed, printed, and labeled packaging can make all the difference. Advanced print technology is also fast becoming customizable.
Technology Reduces Cost
Inkjet is propelling printing technology due to its price and speed. Inkjet printers can be roll-fed or sheet-fed and have proven to be faster compared to traditional printers.
What is The Future of Printing Technology?
From 3D printing to sustainable printing, printing is being shaped by and is shaping the world we see today. As printing is constantly evolving, what does its future look like?
Printing will become more environmentally friendly
We are now focused on the environmental issues created by printing. Regulations across the world are changing to address the environmental impact of packaging. Legislation will favor environmentally sustainable printing practices. For example new legislation will include recycling of cartridges and paper and will begin to mandate the use of biodegradable and recyclable supplies. Estimates show that if printer cartridges are re-manufactured then 400,000 tons of waste could be saved each year.
3D Printing will become more advanced and change lives
With 3D printing it is now possible to print three dimensional objects out of various materials from metals to carbon fiber to polymers and plastic resin. The implications of this are huge. 3D printing is currently available in form factors ranging from desktop to factory level and will eventually become more advanced, affordable and more accessible. It has the potential to revolutionize the manufacturing industry by allowing production to happen at the point of consumption and on demand. Eventually we will see the average citizen able to manufacture their own goods in their own homes. This has the potential to shift economic models.
Printing technology is constantly evolving. Looking ahead on the horizon we see conductive ink and the use of nanoparticles in ink. Many technologies are already in development such as photonic printing and the aforementioned conductive inks. Photonics is being used by innovators to develop invisible photonic printing techniques which may be used for anti-forgery or for watermarking documents. Conductive inks could change how print is used for communication. Currently using nanoparticles these inks are basically circuits that connect paper to the digital world.
For example a poster could have touchscreen capabilities. Printing is far from being a legacy or dead medium as the future of printing looks bright and exciting. We are likely to see a future where the use of 3D printers is more widespread and advertising is printed using conductive ink. 3D Printing is already a rapidly evolving side of the industry. That said, the paper, mug, water bottle, T-shirt printing businesses will still trend in 2022.
Every season there are new fashion trends and of course, one of the inevitable clothing trends is apparel and the perennial favorite ‘t-shirt’. All of these industries continue to grow year over year and the global market for the custom t-shirt printing industry alone is expected to cross $10 billion by 2025.
We at Zakeke are in the print business for the long run and continue to innovate in the 2D, 3D, and AR aspects of the business and we will continue to develop new technologies as opportunities present themselves.
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