Printed material between book covers, something whose demise has frequently been forecast in the era of the Internet and iPad, will continue to find readers in the future. Bernd Ahlmann, Executive Vice President of the Trading division at Ferrostaal, is convinced of this. For one thing there is still an enormous difference in quality, explained the Ferrostaal man at a press conference of the world’s largest supplier-independent provider of printing equipment. Even when complying only with the minimum requirements of the industry, the resolution of the print image, for example, still exceeds that of the latest iPad by a factor of ten. In addition, book printing still has every opportunity to open up new markets.
It has been recognised that the market for books grows in proportion to economic growth: “That,” says the Ferrostaal manager, “will ensure powerful dynamic growth in the developing and newly industrialised countries, where we also expect a considerable increase in the consumption of printing paper both today and in the coming years.” But forecasts suggested above all that the self-publishing sector (e.g. photo books) could achieve the volume of the classical book business in the next few years. Printers and their suppliers can thus expect a further increase in their sales volumes. Mr Ahlmann adds: “This would strengthen a trend which, despite all the prophecies of doom for the printed book, has also been observed by our customers all round the world.”