Emerging Trends in the Printing Industry for 2024

Printing Industry Trends in 2024

There are new possibilities for the printing industry to adapt to every year. Also, there are brand-new obstacles to crack. And with 2023 coming to an end, 2024 looks like it will have a little bit of everything. Our expectations for the coming year are based on an analysis of current trends in the printing industry, possibilities, threats, and tactics.

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The worldwide print market will develop moderately during the next 5 years as the sector adjusts to new product needs, more flexible business models, and a shift in geographic emphasis.

Smithers' most recent market analysis, “The Future of Global Printing to 2024” predicts that the global printing market will rise from $818 billion in 2019 to $874 billion by 2024, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.3%, demonstrating that value-adding potential remains. However, total print volumes will stay stable at roughly 49.5 trillion A4 prints or equivalents.

Here are the most significant digital printing industry trends to watch in 2024.

Top 10 Printing Industry Trends in 2024 

1. 3D Printing

A poll from 2022-2023 found that 51.3% of people used 3D printing to make more than 10 items at once. The market is split into three groups based on what they are: software, services, and devices. The electronics market brought in the most money in 2022, with a share of 64.95%.

Due to the constraints of traditional manufacturing methods, which lead to increased prices and production time, the printing sector challenges design complexity and customization limitations. As a result, advances in 3D printing are tackling this issue by enabling more complicated and personalized designs without the need for costly molds or tooling.

3D printing innovations, such as selective laser sintering (SLS) and fused deposition modeling (FDM), are solving this issue, enabling for the construction of previously unimaginable designs. Furthermore, this broadens the range of design options and speeds up the development and production processes.

2. Digital Printing

In 2022, the global digital printing market was worth about USD 26.3 billion. By 2032, it's expected to be worth more than USD 51.49 billion, thanks to a 7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). In 2022, 37.6% of all income came from the North American market.

Analog and other printing techniques are often inefficient and costly, especially when dealing with short-run print projects. This challenge is being addressed by digital printing advances such as high-speed inkjet technology and improved color management systems. High-speed inkjet printing, for example, offers speedy and efficient printing, making short-run tasks economically viable.

Furthermore, digital printing technologies tightly regulate colors to preserve accuracy and consistency across prints at fast rates, improving overall print quality. These digital printing advances are improving production processes and lowering operational expenses. They also provide flexibility and precision, enabling for a more responsive and adaptive printing sector.

3. Eco-Friendly Inks

The market for eco-friendly inks grew faster than it did in the past: from 2018 to 2022 vs. 2023 to 2032. Instead of growing at a rate of 3.5% per year from 2018 to 2022, the eco-friendly inks market is expected to grow at a rate of 5.8% per year from 2023 to 2032. With the long-term in mind, the market growth rate should be around 1.8x by 2032.

The environmental impact of traditional petroleum-based inks is a major concern in the printing industry. They emit VOCs that pollute the air and are frequently difficult to recycle. As a result, the printing industry is embracing eco-friendly ink developments such as soy-based ink, water-based inks, and others that are developing as sustainable alternatives.

Soy-based inks, for example, are low in VOCs, renewable, and provide brilliant colors, whilst water-based inks are non-toxic and cut emissions. This is a better alternative for the environment and human health. These advancements in eco-friendly inks are critical in lowering the printing industry's environmental footprint. This fosters sustainability and paves the path for more environmentally friendly printing techniques.

4. Print on Demand (POD)

In 2022, the global print-on-demand market was worth USD 6.34 billion. By 2032, it's expected to be worth USD 67.59 billion, thanks to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.71% from 2023 to 2032.

Print-on-demand (POD) remains a prominent trend in the printing business through 2024. The ability to produce customized and small print runs on a budget is gaining popularity as companies prioritize efficiency and sustainability. Print-on-demand reduces the requirement for huge print runs and the storage of extra inventory.

Businesses may adapt quickly to market demands by offering tailored products and on-demand printing services because of developments in digital printing technology. This trend not only meets the growing demand for personalized customer experiences but also fits with environmentally friendly practices, making it a sustainable and cost-effective alternative for businesses of all sizes.

5. Advanced Inkjet Printing

Between 2023 and 2030, the Global Inkjet Printers market is expected to grow very quickly. At the moment, the market is growing steadily in 2022, and it will likely keep growing over the next few years as key players continue to use new strategies.

The inability to handle multiple printing surfaces and materials with diversity and adaptability limits printing applications. Innovations in advanced inkjet printing, such as the development of UV-LED curing technology and the introduction of high-viscosity inkjet inks, address this. For example, these advancements enable fast drying of inks on various surfaces. Heat-sensitive materials are among them, broadening the spectrum of printed surfaces and applications.

Advanced inkjet printers may also deposit functional and decorative inks with a high solid component, allowing for the creation of textured and embossed prints. Such advancements improve the printing industry's adaptability and application diversity, enabling more innovative and functional printing solutions.

6. Planographic Printing

Traditional printing technologies involve a lengthy and time-consuming preparation procedure, which leads to delays and increased production costs and is not ideal for quick print orders. This is minimized by developments in planographic printing, such as computer-to-plate (CTP) technology and lithographic plate refining.

CTP technology eliminates the need for a company by allowing digital images to be transferred directly to printing plates. This drastically lowers preparation time while also improving image quality. The development of more durable and sensitive plate materials and the improvement of lithographic plates ensures longer print runs and higher-resolution prints.

It is expected that the market for planographic printing inks will grow from USD 1.20 billion in 2019 to USD 3.55 billion by 2024. The market for this product is expanding because more people want to use it for packaging and publications, and more and more businesses are starting to use digital printing technology.

These and other advancements in planographic printing enable exact color reproduction and faster setup times. They eliminate material waste and enable the efficient creation of high-volume and low-volume print runs.

7. Printing Automation

Human errors, inconsistent print quality, and inefficient manufacturing are all possible outcomes of the manual involvement needed to control printing processes. Intelligent print management systems and automated print production platforms are examples of AI-powered printing automation solutions that address this issue. Optimization of print workflows, real-time monitoring of print environments, and prediction of maintenance needs are just a few examples of how these systems use machine learning techniques.

Over 60% of business printers have bought new technologies like automation tools, digital printing, or 3D printing to make their work easier and more efficient.

Companies in the printing industry can keep printing quality high and downtime low with the help of automation and robotics that manage materials, load printers, and perform post-printing procedures. These commercial printing industry trends allow dependable print operations with great precision while reducing the need for human intervention in production.

8. Web to Print (W2P)

Web to Print (W2P) is expected to be a significant trend in the printing industry by 2024, altering how businesses and customers engage with print services. The Web-to-Print Market study is an in-depth report with both qualitative and quantitative research that looks at the current situation and predicts growth of USD 528.71 million and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.99% by group Application and Geography from 2022 to 2027.

Users can utilize this technology to place personalized orders online, expediting the entire printing process from design to delivery. Customers can easily personalize and order print products such as apparel, business cards, banners, and promotional goods using user-friendly web interfaces.

W2P improves not just customer convenience but also communication between clients and print service suppliers. This trend enables organizations to manage their print collateral more efficiently, cut lead times, and assure brand consistency, making it an essential component in the modern print scene.

9. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in Printing

As we approach 2024, the printing industry is transforming due to the combination of AR and VR. This trend is transforming traditional print publications by combining interactive and immersive aspects. AR/VR technologies allow customers to encounter dynamic and interesting content by simply scanning printed items with a mobile device or wearing VR headsets. 

AR product experiences are 200% more engaging as they deliver double the levels of engagement compared to their non-AR equivalent. People are much more likely to interact with brands' goods when they offer augmented reality experiences, like being able to put a product in one's space or try it on virtually. They are also more likely to buy if they spend a lot of time designing and fully experiencing the product. 

This offers new opportunities for companies to produce marketing materials, educational resources, and product packaging that provide customers with a one-of-a-kind and unforgettable experience. The convergence of print and AR/VR is not only improving the aesthetic appeal of printed goods, but it is also bridging the physical and digital worlds, altering how information is delivered and consumed.

10. Variable Data Printing (VDP)

Variable Data Printing (VDP) is emerging as a game-changing breakthrough in the printing industry for 2024. Rising at a 12.9% CAGR from 2022 to 2030, the market for variable data printing should hit US$ 31.2 Billion by 2030. At the moment, almost 42% of all digital printing sales come from the variable data printing market.

This technique allows the personalization of printed products by using variable elements such as text, images, and graphics. Individual preferences or demographics can be used to produce individualized marketing collateral, direct mail campaigns, and promotional materials.

 VDP goes beyond standard static printing by providing large-scale mass customization. This trend is being driven by a need for more customized and relevant details, which will establish a closer connection between businesses and their audiences. VDP is growing more complex as technology progresses, providing businesses with novel methods to communicate with their customers through highly tailored and effective printed communication.

Conclusion

In summary, the label printing industry trends in 2024 are undergoing a transformative shift characterized by technological strides like computer-to-plate (CTP) systems, a steadfast commitment to sustainability, and an increasing focus on personalized experiences.

The integration of digital technologies enhances efficiency, sustainability practices reflect environmental consciousness, and a pronounced move toward personalization underscores a dynamic future. The convergence of print and augmented reality (AR), coupled with advancements in 3D printing and data-driven insights, paints a picture of a resilient and progressive industry poised for trends in the printing industry in 2024.

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