Digital Backlash in the UK?

By | November 30, 2009

I was reading PrintWeek about an upcoming digital seminar they are holding next month. Nothing special, just a breakfast sponsored by HP on how to market and sell digital print.

I was surprised by the reaction in the comments to digital printing technology.

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4 thoughts on “Digital Backlash in the UK?

  1. Andrew Tribute

    Speaking as a Brit I have to say that every country has its luddites that ignore what is happening, and there are a number of them speaking on this site. I’m sure that one would get the same reaction in the US in a similar situation as these “progressive” printers have their say. The truth is the UK has probably the highest penetration of digital presses for its market size of any country in the world. Many non-digital printers however fail to understand what the realities of digital are today and still look back at the situation that existed in the 1990s or early 2000s. I also find it interesting to see how many printers and others are regulars commenting on these blog sites. Don’t these guys have work to do!

  2. Chuck Gehman

    I am happy to say that I’ve seen hundreds of webinars about digital technologies announced and have never seen a pack of luddite wolves attempt to rip it apart like that, in the US or elsewhere. In fact, digital is mostly discussed in the context of applications it is appropriate for (which tend to be expanding, just as the growth rate of print volume continues to grow), not jealously trying to nitpick things like “curling paper” (that was FUNNY!) Andy Tribute to should do a special seminar just for those posters, focused on bringing them into the “new millennium”!

  3. Michael Josefowicz

    My favorite comment is “The place for digital, in my opinion, is where it was originally intended – short run, quick turnround and looking reasonably OK.”

    I guess they didn’t consider High Volume Transaction Printing. or what Riso is now calling Mid Volume Transaction Printing.

    As for “short run”, no doubt that is exactly where the industry is going. Mass markets are quickly fragmenting into massive collections of niche markets which all need short runs.

    ‘Quick turnaround” is just one more driver of the market. Has been for years.

    As for looking “reasonably OK”, it’s been repeatedly demonstrated that if color is “good enough” for the customer to pay for it, it’s good enough. The tech will just continue to get better and most buyers these days can’t tell the difference between digital and offset or even between great offset and good enough offset.

    Meanwhile, last month another business model for a 1to1 24 page newspaper went live in Berlin. The content is pulled by the reader from the internet and delivered the next morning for about $2 an issue on a monthly subscription basis.

    In addition, the coolest thing in offset to my mind is Kodaks 4″ Stream printing head that retro fits on a web press and runs at press speeds. That means a combination of the personalization of digital and the economy of web offset.

    I think it’s fair to say that the “digital v offset” has finally moved to “where desktop publishing v typesetting” ended up – a historical curiosity.

  4. Todd Thompson

    Interestingly odd comments to be sure. Spoken like those who have missed the boat and know it.

    Everyone now think about introduction of the mac / desktop publishing and computer to plate. Same type comments from the same sort of people and as history tells us once a technology takes hold at a certain level in our industry get in early and win or pretend and lose. How many platemakers had no choice but to take an early retirement.

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