Survey reveals optimism and changes in demand.
FESPA (www.fespa.com) has released the findings of its Print Census survey in collaboration with InfoTrends (www.infotrends.com), conducted between May 2014 and April 2015 with over 1200 participants worldwide. Screen and digital printers represent the largest fraction of respondents at 34 percent; other contributors include commercial and reprographic printers, sign makers, graphic designers, advertising agencies, and – new to this year’s survey – industrial manufacturers.
The study reports a general feeling of optimism across the print world, with 80 percent choosing “very” or “fairly” optimistic to describe their feelings about their own business; 66 percent share this feeling for the industry as a whole. Financial trends appear to reflect their positivity: The study looks at figures from 2007 to 2015 and reports doubled average revenues, a 9 percent CAGR for the overall industry, and a 7 percent CAGR for the digital wide-format sector.
Print providers also revealed changing trends in customer demand. Eighty percent of respondents report an increase in demand for textile applications. Over half expect digitally produced garments to become an important alternative to traditional screen printing in the next two years, while 78 percent report growth in textiles for décor applications, and 67 percent have experienced growth in demand for soft signage. Twenty-one percent of those surveyed plan to focus their spendings on textile printers, including 12 percent in the market for heat transfer equipment.
Over half of respondents say they have plans to purchase digital wide-format printing equipment, including UV printers (27 percent), textile printers (21 percent), solvent printers (17 percent), eco-solvent printers (16 percent), and latex printers (14 percent). Of those with plans to expand, 45 percent intend to reach new markets with their new investments.
Dynamic signage appears to be growing on print providers’ radar, as well, with over 75 percent expecting live media and LCD screen advertising to impact the wide-format business in the foreseeable future, and 36 percent saying that these technologies have already impacted their business. Thirty-one percent plan to offer dynamic signage in the next year.
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