As we advance through this digital revolution, businesses everywhere are itching to go 'paperless' – seemingly both in and outside of their own offices. The benefits of doing so are promoted across the web, with advocates promising better cost-efficiency and improved sustainability. Some people are going as far as to claim that digital has killed print completely, but the rumours have been greatly exaggerated. All it takes is a quick glance at the industry to see that things aren't quite so black and white. In actual fact, the printer market is bursting with breakthroughs and brimming with excitement.
Despite surges in the popularity of digital alternatives, such as online media, the print industry – which includes large commercial printers and smaller print shops – is still huge. The US market alone is worth $83 billion to the country's economy, and employs more than 430,000 people. In the UK, the sector's revenue stands at £9 billion, with over 84,000 people employed across 9,600 businesses. Statistics like these show there's still huge demand for printed products, with businesses across the western world investing significant amounts of money into trade advertising materials, catalogues, magazines, journals, books and brochures – not to mention non-paper materials.
Contrary to popular belief, the rise of digital is actually helping the print industry in a number of ways. The increased use of digital files, for example, is helping to broaden businesses' geographic markets by making the sharing of content much easier for everyone involved; orders can now be fulfilled for distant customers, creating additional revenue opportunities. More than this, groundbreaking new technologies are helping businesses print more efficiently and to much higher standards. Take the new HP PageWide XL 8000, as an example. This innovative new machine can print up to 30 A1 pages in a minute, making it the fastest ever to hit the market. Additional loading mechanisms mean it takes half the time to set up as well, allowing users to save significant time and money. It's a similar story with the HP Designjet T7200, which offers much faster printing than its competitors, without any compromise on quality or versatility – it can still do everything, and to higher standards than everything before it. These are the qualities so many in the industry have been waiting for.
The sector's biggest manufacturers are clearly investing lots of time and money in pushing printing technology forward, highlighting their belief that the market has a big future. If anything, the medium is thriving, with demand still high among both businesses and consumers. Companies across the UK and the wider world are turning to print as a way of differentiating themselves from their web-centric competitors, for example. So many forward-thinking firms are taking advantage of high-quality, tangible marketing materials to boost brand image and remain memorable. Thanks to advances like those mentioned above, it's now easier and more affordable than ever for printing companies to capitalise on this demand and meet their customers' needs. All of this goes to show just how far from dead print actually is. As we look ahead, it's clear that printed materials have a significant role to play in the futures of businesses everywhere.
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