The implementation of digital print across the industry has revolutionised the way that manufacturers and private organisations create their assets. With global retail packaging growth hitting three per cent in 2020, reaching 3.8 trillion units, it’s easy to see how the impacts of digital printing have been experienced on a wider scale.1
The first digital printing presses came onto the market in the 1990s and, since then, digital printing has transformed packaging.
Some of the key ways that digital printing has shaped the industry include:
With the introduction of digital printing, design possibilities are virtually endless. Being able to move away from traditional designs constricted by traditional printing plates has let organisations flex their creativity and design truly unique and functional creations.
Digital printing lets printers do more short-run projects, turn jobs around faster, and even incorporate customisations into their designs. With more applications and capabilities comes more opportunities to attract new business. For example, B2+ sheet size can now be accommodated with digital inkjet technology and digital label production is possible, providing significant opportunities for packaging providers and commercial printers.
Ability to create locally
Digital printing also lets organisations produce packaging in-house without the need to outsource. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, this meant tasks could stay on track and work could continue across Australian businesses. It also shortens the lead time for packaging, letting organisations move faster.
Because printers can do more locally, they can hire more people in the local market. Creating more jobs provides greater community opportunities, while supporting overall business growth and expansion.
The introduction of digital printing has reduced the costs associated with traditional printing plates, providing a more cost-effective solution, especially for smaller print runs.
The impact of digital printing will continue to grow across our increasingly connected society, with the industry looking to make even more ground-breaking changes over the coming years.
Australia’s importance in the manufacturing and printing industry is growing, with an estimated 6,500 businesses in operation and almost 27,000 people employed in occupations relating to printing and art graphics.2
Some of the mega industry trends to look out for in 2022 include:
Increased focus on sustainability
The printing industry has a vested interest in reducing waste, improving sustainability, and creating a circular economy. The creation of newer, more sustainable materials such as mono-material polyolefin, biodegradable and compostable solutions, and a return to natural fibre-based products will let the printing industry continue to create, while providing consumers with more environmentally conscious options.
Tech interactive packaging
Our interconnected world provides endless opportunities for product engagement, and this will continue to be seen through the physical packaging of consumer goods. From social media links to scannable QR codes with additional product information and interactive virtual reality games, consumers will soon see their supermarket shop as an opportunity to connect with brands like never before.
Shareability and word of mouth continue to be critical in selling consumer products and packaging designs can play a large role in this. Ranging from modern, minimalistic text to bold and bespoke patterns, printed goods will continue to embrace alluring visual cues to keep their product front of mind and top of feed. For example, embellishment capabilities can help brands stand out from the crowd by adding foil, embossing, and other tactile experiences that make unboxing products a key part of the customer experience.
Digital printing continues to transform packaging and the only limits are your imagination. To find out how Konica Minolta can help you deliver packaging printing that will get people talking, contact the team today.
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