Crystal Ball, Anyone??

By on June 6th, 2013

“It is not the strongest or most intelligent species that survive, but the ones who are most willing to adapt.”  ~Charles Darwin

I like this quote because it removes the idea that survival and success are based on natural selection, but are based on intelligence and strategy and looking at how to adapt for future circumstances – an idea that seems especially relevant for the print industry today. At one time in history, we could have said that “print changed the world” and most would agree. But recent technological innovations, shifts towards digital communications and away from paper communications, have many printers working to keep up with the rapidly transforming industry. I suspect this is where Darwin’s idea of adaptation comes into play. Printers need to anticipate the future and prepare themselves accordingly. The same way of doing business will not stand, but you don’t need me to tell you this.

Lucky for printers, they don’t have to anticipate the future on their own. A group of young, bright, and well-educated students from RIT have already done the heavy lifting. Together they researched, wrote, and published a book entitled “Print changed the world – now the world is changing print.” They imagine the print industry landscape all the way to 2022 and address a number of sectors including books, packaging, signage, technical documents, direct mail, and more.

Here are the cliff notes…

Good News for:

  • Mobile devices which enable digital distribution
  • Packaging
  • Industrial printing
  • Signage

Bad News for:

  • The Postal Service
  • Circulars and inserts
  • Periodicals

Aside from the above, there are a number of categories in which the future is mixed – certain aspects will decline while some will rise. For example, authors suspect that self-publishing and yearbook printing will be the primary mode of book printing while traditional novels and textbooks will decline. The Security sector is another mixed bag.

If you read my last blog post, you’ll see that some predictions and research contradict what is in this report. I suppose no one owns a crystal ball so predicting the future is never easy. But nonetheless, it’s best to be informed and anticipate how expected trends will impact your business. So check out the full booklet here! (Made available by Printing Impressions)

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3 Responses to “Crystal Ball, Anyone??”

  1. Joel Salus Says:

    Excellent post, Nicole!

    “Print” most definitely changed the World.

    I still “print” a ton of documents.

    Just not to paper.

    99%, I “print” to pdf :)

    Joel

  2. Joel Salus Says:

    Hi Nicole,

    Hope you don’t mind, but I used your post as the basis for a post I just put up on my blog. You can find that post at:

    http://reprographics.blogspot.com/2013/06/a-rodney-dangerfield-moment-for.html

    Joel

  3. Nicole Schappert Says:

    Hi Joel – Glad you liked the post and feel free to use it! I got a chance to read your blog you send the link for. Good catch about the lack of reference to technical documents!