GATF Annual Technology Forecast Released at Tech Alert Conference

Press release from the issuing company

Pittsburgh, Pa., February 28, 2003 — “The average firm offering wide format ink jet services is billing around $4 million per year.” “Digital proofing is growing fast with many interesting developments in soft proofing.” “Growth in specialty printing, packaging of all types, and flexography is also reported.” These are just some of the areas for opportunities reported in the 2003 Technology Forecast published by the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF). One of GATF’s most popular publications, the annual Technology Forecast helps readers identify trends that will affect specific business segments and adapt to survive the next five or ten years. Its 65 articles by various industry experts touch upon almost every printing process and clarify how and why markets are moving. Some of the reports tell what we expected. Small printers are disappearing while medium and larger printers are growing. The downturn in the industry is reported not only in the U.S. but worldwide. Moreover there has been a shakeout in many industry segments. Some of the more interesting findings in the Forecast include discussions on reasons why many web jobs remain long runs and web presses are growing larger in this era of short on-demand runs. Most gravure presses are relatively new. PDF–X1 is the choice of most for digital document exchange in print production environments. E-commerce is the early stages of adoption. And the “standard” press in North America is a six-color plus coater while in European printers mainly rely on a four-color plus coater. Divided into three sections, the first section examines the industry on a macro level. In this section, experts at PIA, NPES, and other organizations contribute articles on economic trends. The wide-ranging coverage of printing markets alerts readers to what is on the horizon in large format, digital, quick, catalog, book, labels, and packaging printing markets as well as trends in advertising and marketing. Status reports on e-commerce and international markets (Canada, Latin America, and Europe) are also included. The second section, The Print Production Process, updates readers on more specific issues. The section includes a dozen articles on prepress operations and digital issues; nine articles on print and press processes; three on postpress functions; and four on supplies and materials. The last section, Supporting the Process, covers education and training, standards and specifications, and environmental issues. A valuable summary of the year to come, a complimentary copy of the 2003 GATF Technology Forecast was mailed to the GATF/PIA membership in February. Other printers, publishers, designers, and graphic communications professionals are urged to seek out this 96-page, must-read report. It is available for $199 ($99 for GATF/PIA members) plus shipping. Indicate Order No. 480431. Orders may be placed by contacting GATF by phone at 800/662-3916 (U.S. and Canada) or 412/741-5733 (all other countries); fax at 412/741-0609; or online from the GAIN Bookstore. Mail orders to GATF Products, P.O. Box 1020, Sewickley, PA 15143-1020.