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State of the Industry

Defining the Year

Part 1 of 3

By Kim Crowley

Our annual State of the Industry report highlights products and applications transforming the large format print industry. In recent years, the report has revealed an industry influenced by technology advances, environmental concerns, mergers, and a slow economy.


A full version of 2010’s report appears in the August issue. This first article in a series of three provides a brief look at various vendors’ definitions of the economy over the last 12 months.


“Converging Markets Turn to Profitability” — Roland Biemans, sales and marketing manager, Hollanders Printing Systems

“The economical situation forced the industry to look at keeping margin to survive. People sought ways to make the most out of what they can do. Many focused on their specialty, others have added applications/products. Luckily, there were companies that have invested in new technology, which can now be utilized by those that stayed in business.”


“A Year of Innovation and Rejuvenation” — ­­­­­­­­­Jennifer O. Kigin, marketing operations manager, 3M Graphics Market Center

“While our industry comes back up to full speed, it is not simply returning to what we were before last year; it is rejuvenating and evolving in accordance with technical innovation and the new approaches we all develop to address emerging business opportunities.”


“A Slight Sigh of Relief?” Angela Mohni, VP of marketing, Neschen Americas

“Most companies have some level of optimism about where the economy is going and how the industry will recover. However, a part of me is still worried that the other shoe may drop. I am cautiously optimistic and feel that better days are ahead, but we won’t be out of the woods until we experience at least six to 12 months of steady growth. Even when we reach that level, it will take many more months to return to the volumes we experienced in 2006 and 2007.”


“The Wide Prosperous Road Ahead” — Rick Moore, director of marketing, MACtac Graphic Products 

“This year’s State of the Industry should reflect the measure and resolve of those who are a little battered, a little worn, but are better off for having been through a very difficult year. If I had an analogy, it would be how Lewis and Clark must have felt when they finally made it to the Pacific coast. Ambrose’s book Undaunted Courage would be a perfect definition, but in lieu of that, something uplifting and proactive like, The Wide Prosperous Road Ahead.”


“Rebuilding, Reinventing” — Randy Paar, display graphics product manager, Océ North America

“2009 forced many companies to retract and resize. Now, with advertising and promotional budgets increasing again, work is finding its way to print providers. They trimmed their operations and now have a clean slate in which to reinvent themselves and determine what new direction is most beneficial.”


“Very Positive” — Mark Radogna, group product manager, professional imaging, Epson

“The state of the digital industry for signage  is very positive from our perspective. As users look for better ways to product the highest quality work for less money, Epson is experiencing its biggest growth ever in this market. We expect a continuous upward swing over the next 12 to 18 months because we see more users upgrading their printing equipment to higher quality, more environmentally friendly technology.”


“Cautious, but Optimistic” — Pat Ryan, GM, Seiko I Infotech 

“Calling last year rejuvenating may be a stretch, but I think we are seeing a much more optimistic industry in 2010. The reason for this optimism is the turnaround in the overall economy, and a belief that the worst is behind us.”


“A Banner Year for the Smaller Regional Printer” — Jeff Sanders, digital sales manager, Pacific Coast Fabrics

“Although it is impossible to predict the most significant development this year, there are indications that this could be a banner year for the smaller regional printer. Almost every manufacturer now offers a good, smaller volume production machine for less than $50,000, and some for less than $30,000.”


“A Cautious Recovery” — Rick Scrimger, VP/GM, Roland DGA Corporation

“While we see both equipment and consumables showing upward trends, economic uncertainty in the stock market can dramatically change the current outlook. In addition, unemployment, housing, and several economic indicators are not seeing the uptick that would indicate a full recovery. So we need to proceed cautiously through 2010, 2011, and 2012.”


“A Year of Change” — Moshe Zach, CEO, Bordeaux Digital PrintInk Ltd.

“We are shifting from the economical crisis to new opportunities. Only those third party ink suppliers who made the right choices and focused on the fastest growing technologies—providing complete and affordable solutions—will improve their competitive position in an industry which strives to recover from the previous years’ downturn.”


The Year in Innovation

The next two parts in this series investigate trends that influence the industry by looking at new products from the last two years, and discussing some of the standout large format applications from 2010.

Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.

Jul2010, Digital Output StateoftheIndustry10

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