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Print Innovator Theo Pettaras Gives Insight to the Australian Print Market

Published on April 3, 2012

Theo Pettaras, CEO and Managing Director of Digitalpress talks about the Australian print market and its challenges.

My name’s Theo Pettaras, Managing Director and CEO of Digitalpress in, Surrey Hills in Sydney.  

The Australian print market is not too dissimilar to what’s happened in the States.  The biggest difference is the volume of print run.  There’s a significant difference in the volume, I mean, it’s scary the sorts of figures that I hear that are being produced in America, whereas, in Australia, our population’s only 22 million, and the biggest issue is there is a supply and demand, there’s a great deal of printing companies out there and there’s just, I suppose, not enough of the work to spread around.  A lot of the work that’s being produced in Australia is still really commodity-driven.  That’s difficult and that’s challenging.  A lot of printers, particularly mainly the offset printers are struggling and they seem to be doing a lot more work for print management companies.  And unfortunately, and the sad thing about that is it gives the smaller printers an unfair advantage, I suppose, if you’d like to say because we don’t get to educate the marketing directors and the Vice Presidents of these organizations about some of the really amazing things you can do with print these days.  And I think that’s the challenge.  

My challenge is to try to educate, not just my clients and my prospective clients, but also other printers.  And what I’m trying to do is reach out to them in Australia to tell them to think a bit outside the square.  One of the sorts of things that they can do to not only help their own businesses, but to help their clients, to give a better reputation of our industry and our craft of what we can do, the things that make it so effective.  You know, a lot of the printers still are not totally educated about web to print applications and social media.  You know, we totally are not scared of technology.  We understand that there’s a massive proliferation of, you know, online technologies in that, and it’s a good thing.  I believe that both of them do co-exist and we have to embrace the technology.  So, the challenge is, how do we get printers to understand that technology and to embrace it as well so that we can then present it to our clients.  

QR codes is, I have to say, it’s not a really big thing over in Australia; we don’t see it a lot.  We see it in coffee shops, we see it in occasional outdoor advertising, we see it in occasionally, magazines.  But we don’t’ see a lot of it.  And I don’t know whether we missed the boat or not, I mean, in America, it’s ridiculous.  I see people with t-shirts with a QR code on their t-shirt.  I’ll be very scared when I see someone with a tattoo of a QR Code.  But there’s an idea.  We’re looking at other technologies; I don’t know whether you’ve heard of it, a new technology called intelligent print recognition by Documobi.  It’s an amazing technology.  And that’s something I’m really trialing and pioneering at the moment down under.  

So at the moment, the QR Code thing, it’s not a massive agenda for us.   

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