In October and November 2020, WhatTheyThink’s Business Outlook Survey asked print business executives and owners about their 2020 business conditions, expected 2021 business conditions, business challenges, biggest perceived opportunities, and investment plans. We also asked about respondents’ opinions of virtual events, as well as their 2020 hiring plans. The results of this survey—and much much more—are included in WhatTheyThink’s Printing Outlook 2021 special report. Over the past few weeks, we have been providing some top-level findings from that report.

We saw three weeks ago that print industry jobs/orders dropped -10.8% from 2019 to 2020. When we asked about overall profitability, 61% of respondents saw profits decrease compared to 2019. By our calculations, that translates to a drop of -9.1% in profits in 2020. Still, just about one-fourth reported a rise in profits in 2020, and a further 16% saw no substantial change. So there were some bright spots—such as they were—last year.

Get the Full Report

The complete Printing Outlook 2021 report includes all our survey data broken down by establishment size, as well as industry statistics from third-party sources, extensive macroeconomic commentary, industry trends to look for in 2021 and beyond, and our industry forecast to 2030. The report can be purchased in our eStore at