Over the past few years, every industry has made significant changes and last-minute decisions within their companies. The printing industry was no exception. There was a focus on working from home, so manufacturers and customer service-based companies had to figure out how to keep running in a quickly virtual shifting world. Adjustments were made, and something of a “new normal” started taking place.
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Then customers, clients, marketing departments, and business owners slowly started shifting BACK into what they knew worked before. Ringing in 2023 is a combination of what used to work and what needs to stay to succeed in the upcoming years, companies in the printing industry included.
As a trusted printing partner operating in the print industry for over 30+ year, we’ve seen trends come and go. We know that print plays a key role in the marketing and operations of a business in 2023. So what can we expect this year? See our top printing trends for 2023.
More and More Employees are Returning to Their Workstations
This is where the print industry will likely see the biggest convergence of what we once were and what life was like for the past three years. The rise in at-work employees is starting to slow down. More and more employees are returning to an office setting for various reasons. Some of that is simply to engage with their social peers again in a safe and “normal” environment, but the balance in power between staff and their employers will predictably continue.
This means that we may see a resurgence in the amount of in-office printed items as the workforce makes the shift back to physical copies.
The Modernisation of Digital Print and Storage
Over history, the print industry has been primarily physical copy work, and it will stay that way for the most part. However, the modernisation of digit print and the inclusion of cloud storage will likely be much more popular in 2023 and as we progress into a digital world.
What this means for material print companies is the faster output of products with digital methods putting out the same high-quality finished product for one-off jobs as well as bulk orders and still creating unique pieces for clients. It also means adjusting inventories to a more digital pathway and readjusting on-hand graphics over digital imaging.
A Higher Demand for Sustainability Proof in the Industry
Existing contracts with clients will likely be reworked this year if there is low transparency on the sustainability of the company doing the work. More and more clients and customers are advocating for greener methods for industries worldwide, and material printing is no exception.
Ideas such as FSC-certified and recycled paper stocks for much of the material printed or ink options that produce lower traces of volatile organic compounds. Companies within this industry must make cost-efficient decisions while also proving the measures they plan to take for sustainability.
Workplace Dynamic Changes as Gen Z Bosses Take Over
Everyone knew it was coming. Gen X employers are at the age of retiring or stepping out of the “in-charge” roles, and Gen Z’s are graduating and priming themselves to step into leadership roles. This will drastically change workplace dynamics as the work ethic ideals are vastly different for each generation.
While anyone who enters the printing industry will have to understand the importance of physical materials needed, Gen Z bosses are swaying heavily on the tech side of things over grabbing a pen and paper to create a quick mock-up to sketch a POS ideas for example.
Taking Print Security to a Higher Application Level
Print security isn’t just locking the doors anymore and having spyware on the company computer system. As with every other industry and its need to improve, the technology industry seems to always be a step ahead. Other sectors must follow suit or start improving their security levels on an application or cyber level. The standardisation of software upgrades will soon be expected to, at a bare minimum, have a multi-layered approach to keeping designs, information, and connections secure at all times.
As new designs are created, increased “watermark” type technology will help increase security at the application level within the printing sector.
Technology increases inside the office with Smart buildings and IoT
The health and wellness of staff mean more than just working with the employee. It also means providing a workplace that increases productivity and keeps the in-office team happy. Technology improvements within the print sector can do that by implementing Smart buildings and IoT.
Industries like the printing sector reap the benefits of technology increases for staff in the matter of employee health and wellness, as well as overall business benefits like energy optimisation, cost reductions in utility uses and resources, and tax benefits for decreasing the business’s carbon footprint and increasing its sustainability.
Business Models will need to Step into a Data-Driven World
To save time and increase time management within the printing industry, business models must adapt to a data-driven environment like never before. Data is increasing in value in the same way that technology is taking over other parts of the printing industry. Identifying delivery services, vendors, and cloud-native architecture will keep any prominent printing company ahead of the competition by adapting data-driven business models.
Teamwork will Expand with New Partnerships and Connections
Everyone will strive to create new partnerships and sign new contracts to keep the most up-to-date connections. As other industries adapt to stay steady in the upcoming years, the printing industry must collaborate with such businesses as IT services, vendors, and cybersecurity. Teamwork across corporations looks like a new concept where typically, competition is the target. Technology, sustainability, and security will be the printing sector’s partnership magic words for 2023.
New Connections and Clients via the Metaverse
We’ve already mentioned how much the digital world will impact the future of all industries, and the printing sector is no different. Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence are just two methods in the metaverse on the rise. Printing companies will need to rely heavily on the metaverse for advertising, marketing, and client connections as Gen Z managers use their comfort resources to find new printing partners.