“If journalists are gloomy about the outlook of their industry, printers are despondent.”
That was a 2013 keynote speaker’s headline for his topic, “The Future of Printers.” Subtitle? “Printers Sink.”
In the U.S. in 2001 there were 50,000 traditional commercial printing companies (not including phone book and newspaper and magazine publishers). Today there are fewer than 20,000, and those that are still in business find their 1Q13 revenues down 25–50% from a year ago. The environment is brutal. Half the printers I used to work with are no longer in business — and I’m paying a lot less for the same kind of job to those that still are.
Printer-from-birth Chuck Paski at McClafferty Printing says printing “is a tough racket to be in. It’s a commodity now instead of a craft. The buyers know they can beat you up on price, and they’ll take their business down the street to save .” Paski has a state-of-the-art six-color press, but only four-color jobs are selling — whatever buyers can get for the cheapest price in the fastest time. McClafferty just added mailhouse services to its portfolio, so it can be a one-stop shop.Read full post...