By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing
My wife hates flying; she is convinced the plane will crash. In fact she hates it so much that she refuses to do it anymore, which makes getting to our holiday home near Malaga in Spain quite a journey.
In the last few years I have dragged two suitcases on and off successive railway trains across the UK, France and Spain in order to enjoy our vacation. On a train there is no bag weight limit, so my wife’s case has been filled with her holiday reading, at least eight paperback books, as well as the usual female wardrobe. Of course as a man, I manage with just a pair of shorts and a couple of shirts.
Last month we went to Malaga again, but this time there was a big difference. My wife had bought a Kindle and her holiday reading was contained in her handbag.
My wife’s Kindle was not the only change affecting the printing industry on our vacation. For the first time the Spanish railway operator Renfe issued our tickets in a digital form and I carried them on my iPhone, with the barcode being read off my screen at the stations en route. In the past, printers have produced pre-printed templates onto which the journey details have been added – another example of the way that digitisation is affecting the printing industry.
Benny Landa is famously quoted at IPEX in 1993 as saying that “everything that can become digital, will become digital”. So it is no surprise when you see it happening. Clearly those printers who would have produced my wife’s books and our Spanish rail tickets are seeing it.
But many areas of print are still flourishing and adapting to create new markets. For example, our UK daily newspapers are now transmitted digitally to Madrid, printed and then distributed alongside the Spanish daily newspapers. This has created a small but profitable short-run market for the partners involved, as I pay twice the UK cover price when in Spain for the same newspaper. This versioning is working in reverse with a number of Spanish language newspapers also producing a short run of English language versions for visitors to Spain.
Smaller run lengths targeting versions for very specific markets are a trend that will rapidly increase when Landa Digital Printing launches its Nanographic Printing® presses for the commercial, publishing and packaging printing industries in the coming months. Some opportunities will eventually close, as printed newspaper run lengths will continue to fall as more iPad and tablet editions are published. High-end magazines and graphic novels (a.k.a. comic books) can still offer a richness of experience that can’t be matched by software.
Having the right technology that can let you take advantage of these opportunities will be crucial to long-term success, which is why many of our Landa customers find Nanography® so appealing.