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The Future of Print as a Process

Print as a process has a bright future because our industrialized society continues to “mark on substrates.” For most of us, that means applying text and images (often together) to paper and other substrates for a wide variety of purposes. The versatility and diversity of applications guarantee that “print” will thrive. Certainly digital technology will displace some uses of print. However, many of those printed products whose demise has long been a foregone conclusion refuse to vanish. From the telephone directory to the lowly business card, there are applications for which print remains competitive with any digital alternative. While offset lithography is diminishing, inkjet and other digital imaging technologies are delivering the same sorts of printed products which are fulfilling the same applications. Will overall demand continue to trend downward? Certainly. Will pricing pressure continue as demand falls? Absolutely. But will print as a process vanish? I wouldn’t bet on it.