Research Study Showcases Trends in Digital Printing Enhancement

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Offering customers a wide range of embellished and enhanced print products becomes more and more important when trying to boost profit margins as a print service provider. A new NAPCO Research study now emphasizes the demand amongst marketers and brand owners.

Print service providers venturing out in new sectors is a topic we have talked about in our latest history of drupa Global Trends Reports, especially when it comes to ways to expand printers’ business profitability in the future. One of the measures that has proven to be successful in boosting profit margins and differentiate their offerings over the past few years, in all print sectors, is expanding their services to include print work embellished or enhanced with special effects, produced on digital presses or finishing equipment. While many types of embellishments, such as extended-gamut colours, specialty colours, embossingfoilingtextures, and specialty coatings, aren’t brand-new inventions, the ability to produce them affordably on digital devices however is, which makes them uniquely attractive to marketers and brand owners now. A NAPCO Research study is now emphasizing customer demands in exactly that area.

Adding Value to Digital Print

NAPCO Research recently published a study, Adding Value to Digital Print, looking into those same developments in the print community in an attempt to document the actions printers are taking to offer enhanced print capabilities. For this study, they surveyed print providers as well as marketers and brand owners, focusing on trends, demands, challenges, and requirements of brand owners and marketers in specifying special effects in their print applications.

Their findings show that especially marketers display a growing interest in incorporating special effects and techniques that enhance the visual appeal of their products. Digital print enhancements can transform their simple printed materials from commodity, price-sensitive offerings to higher value products that command premium. And they appreciate the effort: Marketers clearly value providers that offer ways to enhance print and allow them to let their product stand out – 56% of the 600 surveyed marketers and brand owners said it is highly important that their print providers offer unique ideas to enhance the print they purchase. Only 6% claimed it to be “not important at all”. Seems like going with digital print enhancement has become a safe bet these days!

Utilising Inkjet Technology

While a number of today’s digital printing devices and finishing solutions already support special effects and embellishments to enhance print, it is important to keep an eye on technology innovations: In print enhancement, equipment manufacturers are already adding capabilities and feature sets to digital printing presses, digital enhancement presses, and finishing solutions to simplify processes even more and reduce production costs for special effects, making these types of offerings even more profitable for printers.

But they are not just widening the capabilities of existing options, they are also working on bringing the production of digital enhancements from digital printing presses to digital enhancement finishing devices that utilise inkjet printing heads. These enhancement presses and devices don’t need plates, screens or dies to create texture, dimensional and foil effects, and are utilisable by print service providers of all sizes. Beyond that, innovations from this area not only have the potential to save costs, but also to contribute to sustainable production.