Reston, VA - Top executives of packaging printing and converting companies in the United States and Canada increasingly describe themselves primarily as “printers” and only secondarily as converters, according to a comprehensive study published recently by PRIMIR, the Print Industries Market Information and Research Organization.
This trend reflects a clear increase in the importance of print quality, design and related values to the success of packaged products, the study says.
“For many (of these companies), their original business was converting. Their package was evaluated on its strength and quality, but not on how well it was printed,” the study says. “This has changed today as packages have become silent salespeople and the importance of printing has significantly increased . . . We asked respondents whether they considered themselves to be package printers, package converters, or commercial printers. Across all types of packaging, printing is mentioned more often than converting.”
• Among specialists in folding carton production, 64 percent described themselves either as “package printers” or “package printer/converters.” Only 28 percent chose “converter” as the primary description of their business.
• Among label and tag producers, 40 percent said they thought of themselves as commercial printers, with another 24 percent calling themselves either package printers or package printer/converters.
• Corrugated board packaging specialists described themselves as printers or printer/converters at a 63 percent rate, and 53 percent of those who produce rigid plastic packaging gave printing primacy in their self-descriptions.
Comments offered by company executives during phone interviews, reproduced in the study report, shed light on why this transformation in self-definition has taken place.
Some typical comments include:
•“(We are) more concerned with printing than with function.”
•“As there are fewer dollars in advertising, the packaging must provide more brand differentiation. This is leading to a need for greater variety and higher print quality requirements and more opportunity for packagers.”
•“Printing is of utmost importance. We are printers. We are growing to be quality printers. We need to use high quality printing as a value added component to our offerings.”
•“It’s our differentiator – the quality and variety of our printing.”
•“Our niche has always been the application of print to corrugated boxes in all its forms. This will continue.”
Industry leaders and observers have been remarking on the convergence of printing and converting technologies for more than a decade, and this convergence underlies such integrated, comprehensive trade exhibitions as this September’s PRINT 05 & CONVERTINGSM 05, the largest show of its kind in the world this year.
PRINT 05 & CONVERTING 05 will feature over 200 companies displaying equipment and other products designed for folding carton converting, label printing, flexible packaging and other packaging applications. These exhibits will occupy about 425,000 net square feet, out of the show’s projected total of 750,000 square feet.
PRINT 05 & CONVERTING 05 is produced by the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC). GASC is owned by the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL), NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies (NPES), and the Printing Industries of America (PIA). GASC is located at 1899 Preston White Drive, Reston, VA 20191-4367 USA, telephone: 703/264-7200, fax: 703/620-9187, E-Mail: [email protected]
. For additional information, visit www.gasc.org.