The successful integration of screen and digital points to more than the simple fact that people had the wrong idea about the future of graphics production.
Several years have passed since some in the printing industry decided the time had come to write an obituary for the screen process. They claimed that digital imaging would crush screen printing into teeny-tiny pieces, rendering it irrelevant.
They were wrong.
On the other side of the aisle were the screen-printing purists who refused to give wide-format inkjet printing any consideration. They figured digital imaging could only be a threat or hindrance to their businesses.
They, too, were wrong.
Plenty of evidence demonstrates the two technologies complement each other. I’ve interviewed shop owners who opened all-digital operations only to find out sooner than later that an inline screen press could prevent high-volume jobs from bogging down their inkjet systems. I’ve also profiled a number of screen-only operations that added digital printing to the production floor to tackle the shorter runs, variable-data work, and other applications that were once impossible to touch because the jobs weren’t profitable.
The successful integration of screen and digital points to more than the simple fact that people had the wrong idea about the future of graphics production. It also means printers can no longer afford to be just printers—screen, digital, or otherwise—or to market their services that way.
Printing, by itself, is a commodity. Shedding the skin of being just a printer in favor of developing a new identity as a retail-experience consultant or a brand-evolution specialist not only sounds good, but it’s also good business. Clients want more than ink on media. They value long-term partnerships with companies that can help them differentiate themselves from their competition. The good news is you’ll be able to do the same thing for your business when you discover that you’re more than just a printer.
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