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HP predicts this year’s top 10 trends

HP predicts this year’s top 10 trends

With the new year getting into gear, HP has given us some insight on the underlying forces that are currently driving the large format printing industry. Change is in the air and HP has identified three megatrends that are underlying the sector’s forward momentum.

With the new year getting into gear, HP has given us some insight on the underlying forces that are currently driving the large format printing industry. Change is in the air and HP has identified three megatrends that are underlying the sector’s forward momentum.

The three megatrends driving the rest

  • Sustainability – younger consumers are pushing the industry to go greener.
  • Globalization – as the world becomes increasingly interconnected, companies need to think globally, while providing excellent local service.
  • The rise of digital platforms – the online giants are increasing their influence in our lives and digital platforms like Amazon, Netflix and Airbnb are transforming whole markets. This will happen in print, too.

2019’s top 10 trends

The influence of the above megatrends is ongoing, but here’s what HP believes will be this year’s most prominent issues in large format printing.

  • Print on demand – the advent of digital printing means that print-on-demand is going mainstream, creating an ecommerce boom and a multitude of web-to-print applications. Traditional printers that don’t embrace this trend may find themselves squeezed out of the market by digital native competitors.
  • Personalisation – you need to be unique in an increasingly competitive market. So, create real value by offering short runs and multiple versions, personalisation and customization.
  • Next day…or even same day? – consumers are growing used to instant delivery, which has seen printing lead times eroding from weeks to days – and now people are looking for same-day delivery. Are you ready for it?
  • Local for local – mass production may have moved to the cheaper labour markets, but customised, same or next day delivery requires a local presence. Local production can compete in value-added applications, with micro-factories located close to customer centres.
  • Vertical integration – the print industry is consolidating, and while up to now this has been horizontal, the next move will be vertical integration. This will enhance end-to-end strategy for total ecosystems which will be able to offer design-to-production solutions.
  • Fabric and bio-materials will eclipse PVC – PVC is one of the least sustainable substrates – it’s not recyclable or biodegradable. Certain countries are already banning its use, and its ongoing replacement with polyester-based fabrics and other biodegradable materials can only be a positive.
  • Paper’s making a comeback – technology is allowing for more durable papers that can compete with PVC for banners and boards, indoor retail and POP segments.
  • Water-based inks – they’re not new, but their use is spreading as they’re far healthier than solvent and UV-curable inks. This trend may be regulation driven, but manufacturers are showing an appetite for it too, with technologies such as HP’s Latex inks.
  • Digital and printed signage combine – digital screens have arrived on billboards, in stores, at airports and stations. But don’t think this will replace print. There are plenty of opportunities for digital and print to work in tandem, to create a complete experience.
  • Values and transparency – due to social media, consumers have a heightened awareness of the social values of the companies they buy from. For success in today’s world, you need to be transparent about your values and your actions.

Do you agree with HP’s 10, or are there other trends that you think are going to hit big this year?

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