Trust me, print is alive and well

Last month I attended Agfa Graphics’ wide-format open house at its Canadian headquarters and production facility in Mississauga, Ontario. Live demos of its Jeti Tauro, Jeti Mira and Anapurna models left no doubt as to the high quality of output from these sophisticated flatbeds. The next day I went to the opening of Epson’s first Technology Centre in Canada, also located in Mississauga within TG Graphics’ impressive production facility. The new centre showcased the full Epson wide-format portfolio – including dye-sublimation, solvent, aqueous and DTG printing solutions. When I returned to my office, I wondered what the average consumer would think of he or she ever saw these remarkable workhorses in action. There’s no possible way that they would wrongly conclude that print was somehow dead.

Earlier on that second day, I had posted a news item on our website revealing that small business owners and consumers prefer and rely on professional printing services to compete and grow. The new FedEx Office national print survey showed that 82% of small and medium-sized businesses, and 61% of consumers, choose to have items professionally printed at the same rate, or at a higher rate, than they did the year before. So much for print being dead! The survey illustrated that printed materials remain highly valued – with nearly half citing the convenience of digital and mobile access as a key factor in the printing process. In fact, 92% of respondents indicated that print helps them compete with larger organizations. The final argument was the most compelling – print quality ranked No. 1 for both consumers (77%) and small and medium-sized businesses (78%).

On the way home the next evening, I noticed an ad inside a Toronto subway car urging viewers to recycle their electronic components. That led me to thinking about all the advantages of print, and how it’s wrongly vilified as not being a sustainable resource. In fact, the exact opposite is true. As people passionate about print, it’s up to each one of us to set the record straight with both consumers and clients every opportunity we get.

Until next time, always remember that we’re here to help.


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.