Monday September 25, 2017

Digital printing: what does the future hold?

More and more offset printing companies are adopting digital print technology. Those who don’t are starting to question whether they should do so, at least for certain types of jobs. According to a global study by Smithers Pira, the future of the digital printing market is looking bright, to say the least.

188 billion USD by 2018

Smithers Pira believes that the digital printing market will be worth a whopping 188 billion USD by 2018, accounting for almost half of the offset sector. This means that in terms of value, digital’s share of the offset market will be nearly 50 percent. A huge difference compared to 2008 when the digital share was less than 18.5 percent.

Volume vs. value

When it comes to volume, however, digital has a little more difficulty competing with offset. Although the overall expectation is that offset print volume will drop 10.2 percent between 2008 and 2018 while digital will grow 68.1 percent, digital’s share of the offset volume is still small compared to its share of the value. According to Smithers Pira, this is due to digital’s unit costs, which are considerably higher than offset’s.

One thousand A4 prints

In case you’re wondering how much you’ll pay for one thousand digital A4 prints in 2018, the people at Smithers Pira have got that covered too. It will set you back 119.53 USD on average, to be exact, while the same amount of offset prints will cost you 10.16 USD. This compared to 2008, when you paid 11.43 USD for one thousand offset prints and 92.48 USD for one thousand digital prints.

Digital printing is increasingly cost-effective

Thanks to continuous innovations, digital printing is becoming more cost-effective each day. Many offset printers are investing in at least one digital printer or press to improve their output and cut unit costs. In conclusion, Smithers Pira forecasts a strong growth of digital printing trends in the next few years.

About Diana Albiol

Diana Albiol

Diana has over 20 years experience in journalism, marketing and communications. As head of content marketing, Diana takes care of all Enfocus content, including the coordination of writers, bloggers and analyst content for our site. If you are interested in contributing, please contact Diana directly at

Having worked in business publishing for over 10 years and subsequently run her own communications company for 10 years, Diana has first-hand experience of dealing with graphic arts companies from the customer side.

In her own words: “I wish I’d had PitStop in my publishing days… wow, life would have been a lot easier! As for Switch… I plan to use that to organize and automate as many areas of my life as possible! Switch is a no-brainer for any company, of any size, even outside of the graphics arts industry!”

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