Fespa’s 2023 print census released

Rising sustainability demands, changing customer requirement

The industry is adapting to the changing landscape and finding new opportunities

The impact of rising sustainability demands and evolving customer requirements on business models and investment plans figure in the headline findings of Fespa’s 2023 Print Census. Fespa is a global federation of associations for the screen printing, digital printing and textile printing community.

Conducted in partnership with InfoTrends, a division of Keypoint Intelligence, this year’s census explored the long-term trends that emerged from the analysis of the 2018 Print Census, including revenue and industry outlook, the rise of environmental pressures, changing customer demands, future investment and purchasing plans, and business models and strategies.

About 1,778 printers and signmakers from over 120 countries participated in the survey, representing a 26.5% increase from the last Print Census published in May 2018. Respondents defined their business focus as graphics (61%), signage (26%), textile (24%) and industrial (14%).

Key findings

Revenue increase and industry outlook

The market outlook remains positive in line with the results from 2018, with 71% of respondents stating they are optimistic about the future of their business, despite the considerable economic challenges of the past five years.

According to the survey, the industry is adapting to the changing landscape and finding new opportunities for growth. Respondents reported a 7% average revenue increase since the 2018 Census. In 2018, the mean annual revenue was reported as 4.4m Euros, compared with a mean annual revenue of 4.7m Euros in 2023, showing a 330k Euros increase.

Growing demand for sustainability

The census reaffirmed that the pressure on printers and signmakers to be more sustainable continues to rise, with 72% of print buyers requesting environmentally friendly products and practices. 25% of respondents shared that their customers cared most about sustainable products and 12% identified a focus on sustainable manufacturing, however, the majority of printers (36%) disclosed that their customers cared about both.

The perceived cost increases are often a barrier to sustainable production, but 70% of the respondents shared that they can address sustainability demands without raising their prices and a further 22% advised that they already raised pricing without impact on sales.

Customer demand continues to change the market

The industry is being shaped by changing customer requirements, including quicker turnaround times, more personalization and versioning options, and shorter print runs. 67% of responses showed an increase in the demand for faster turnaround, 58% noted a rise in requests for shorter runs and 56% highlighted the upsurge in interest for more versioning and personalization, while only 38% noted an increase in the demand for more complex logistic requirements.

Wide format purchasing plans

The survey highlighted that print service providers are interested in investing in technology that can streamline production and provide greater application flexibility. For the 201 respondents who own screen printing and wide format equipment, UV-curable Inkjet (27%), eco-solvent Inkjet (18%) and CNC finishing (17%) are the highest priority for their purchasing plans.

Business expansion drives technology investment

When asked about the rationale behind planned technological investments, 55% of respondents want to enter new markets and expand their service and application offerings, 53% are focused on enhancing print quality and 52% are looking to reduce the unit cost.

FESPA head Of Associations and Technical Lead, Graeme Richardson-Locke, says, “It’s a really positive result ao see our community so optimistic not only about the future of our industry, but also about the growth potential of their businesses. The survey once again cemented that one of the key challenges printers and signmakers are currently facing are the ever-changing customer demands and the growing need for sustainable solutions. Thanks to the responses from our community, we can now develop and evolve our offering to tailor it, but above all, we hope that the Census findings will help our community to benchmark themselves against similar businesses globally, and to make informed choices for their future.”

The results will also be presented at select Fespa events, such as Fespa Middle East 2024. 

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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