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New Report Analyzes Printer/Print Buyer Relationship

Press release from the issuing company

NEW YORK -- March 4, 2004 -- Similar to a marriage, the commercial printer-print buyer relationship depends upon keen understanding and communication. Today, TrendWatch Graphic Arts released a new special report, which analyzes this sensitive business relationship. The report, called "Buy the Book: The Changing Needs of Print Buyers" is an analysis of dramatic trends and shifts in the working relationship of printers and their clientele (ad agencies, graphic designers, corporate designers, commercial photographers and publishers). The report is available for online purchase at the TWGA eStore in PDF format. For more information, please go to the TWGA website (www.trendwatchgraphicarts.com). According to the report, the relationship has been helped somewhat by the introduction of specific technologies. For example, preflighting software in the mid-90s was a great leap forward-but only when printers could encourage designers to use it. The advent and proliferation of PDF as a seemingly idiot-proof prepress file format was another breakthrough-but many printers quickly found that nothing is 100% fool-proof. And all sorts of "collaboration enhancement" solutions that were a hallmark of the "dot-com" age didn't help in the long term. In final analysis, as with any relationship, the key to success is in better understanding. Researcher's Quote... "Creatives need to understand the pressure that printers are under and why they do or don't do certain things. The print business has never been a hugely lucrative one, and it's become even less so in recent years," notes Vince Naselli, Director, TrendWatch Graphic Arts. "Suppliers to the graphic arts markets need to better understand how the needs of both parties are changing. What are the forces that both sides are struggling with, and what is the best way of providing technology and products to solve at least some of those problems? This special report seeks to answer the many questions of both the printer and the print buyer, while offering a bird's eye perspective to suppliers." According to the Report... -- TRAINING RESURGENCE: The previous high-water mark for "helping customers with training" as a sales opportunity for print and prepress firms was back in Fall 1997, when it came in at 14%. Suddenly, it has surged up to 37% in Fall 2003. -- GETTING GOOD PRESS: The top increasing type of print job for design and production firms is for color digital printing. In Summer 2003, more than one-third (34%) said that jobs designed for color digital printing are increasing. At the same time, the same percentage say that jobs for traditional offset printing are declining. -- THE AD AGENCY CHANNEL: 90% of ad agencies buy print on behalf of their clients; -- ADDED VALUE: According to the report, the most important service that a printer can provide (aside from printing) is "fulfillment and inventory management." Number two is "consulting on desktop publishing;" -- SERVICE EDUCATION: One-fifth of creative firms don't know about printers' non-print services, or what value using those services would have on their own businesses. Report Offerings... This report is divided into five sections that correspond to the three segments of graphic arts markets that TrendWatch Graphic Arts regularly surveys (commercial printers, creative professionals, and publishers: -- Section 1: Printers: Analyzes current business conditions, challenges, and opportunities and how the nature of print work has been changing over the past half decade; -- Section 2: Creative Professional: Analyzes graphic designers, ad agencies, and corporate design firms and their changing relationships with their printers; Section 3: Publishers: Analyzes book, magazine, and catalog publishers, and their much different relationship with their printers; Section 4: Trends: Analyzes trends and drivers/barriers to the printer-print buyer relationship; Section 5: Solutions: Provide conclusions, implications, and recommendations. Methodology... All the data in this special report come from TrendWatch Graphic Arts' regular surveys of the graphic arts markets. Each of these markets' historical database allows us to show trends over the past decade-and gives us fodder to anticipate where these markets are headed. Supplemental data is gleaned from various TWGA special projects. In particular, in Fall 2003, we completed the Media Requirements Study, which comprised many interviews with a broad swath of the graphic arts industry, which gave us voluminous qualitative information on the changing nature of the printer-print buyer relationship. The current special report is not meant to be a distillation or "lite" version of that larger study, although the present report draws from it. Availability... The TrendWatch Graphic Arts "Buy the Book: The Changing Needs of Print Buyers" report is available for purchase by visiting the secure TrendWatch Graphic Arts eStore online at www.trendwatchgraphicarts.com or by phone at 866-873-6310. The price for the 149-page report is $1595. TrendWatch Graphic Arts eStore customers can download this report in PDF Acrobat format immediately after purchase.