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What does the future of the printing industry have in store?

7 minute read

Discover the latest trends and innovations shaping the future of the printing industry.

The global commercial printing market is anticipated to grow from USD 494.53 billion in 2023 by 3.0% from 2024 to 2030.

What are the printing industry trends that are shaping the future of print, and how can print businesses capitalize on this opportunity?


Digital transformation in printing

The printing industry is continuing to navigate the digital era and the digital transformation that drives it, which like many other global industries accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has hit some areas of the print industry harder than others.

With the rise of working from home, readers have continued to switch from printed publications and magazines in favor of consuming content on screens. The combined average newspaper circulation of the 25 largest US titles fell 14% in the year to September 2023.

eCommerce and direct-to-consumer options however have rallied, with the global web-to-print market expected to reach USD 39.99 billion by 2027. This trend signifies a move towards a more user-centric approach, where convenience, speed, and customization reign supreme.

Some examples of digital transformation being leveraged already include: 

Evolution of printing technology

Brands are adapting to a change in consumer behaviour, which is shifting from longer print runs to agile and personalized approaches. This elevates the need for customized solutions offered by digital presses.

This, coupled with the demand for high-speed, high-quality commercial digital presses that can print on a wide array of substrates, is driving innovation among commercial digital presses.

Moreover, the future promises further integration to leverage software to optimize print runs, reduce errors, and predict maintenance needs, ultimately improving printing services' overall quality and reliability.


The web-to-print model has already revolutionized the industry by providing customers with a seamless online experience wherever they are, whilst broadening the geographical reach of print businesses' customer bases.

Web-to-print platforms allow customers to create, edit, and order printed materials directly from their web browser. It's an attractive option for businesses and consumers, offering convenience and speed through streamlined operations.

Additionally, web-to-print platforms often offer design templates and customization tools, making it easier for users to create their own designs without extensive graphic design skills, democratizing the design function. 

Gen Z joins the workforce

Born between 1995 and 2009, Generation Z (or Gen Z) – currently accounts for about 2 billion of the world's population and is expected to represent 27 percent of the workforce by 2025.

Gen Z is the first generation to have grown up entirely in the digital age, and as they enter the workforce, their digital-native background and fresh perspectives are poised to influence the printing industry.

This generation’s preference for multimedia and interactive content is likely to lead to innovative print products that incorporate innovations, bringing with them influences from outside of the print industry. 

Their commitment to social and environmental issues is also expected to push the industry towards more sustainable practices and products, aligning with the values of this socially conscious generation.

Customization and personalization at scale

Globally, the personalization software market is expected to grow from $620 million in 2020 to $2.2 billion by the end of 2026. 

Backed by advances in digital printing technology, the industry is responding by offering these services at scale. Short runs or even single-item orders can be fulfilled without the need for large inventories This trend is particularly prominent in marketing sectors where brands are leveraging customization to stand out and connect with consumers on a more personal level.

Environmental sustainability: A new priority

The United Nations reported that as many as three planets’ worth of resources may be required to sustain our current lifestyles by 2050.

It's no surprise then, that environmental sustainability has also become a critical consideration in the printing industry. In line with the first step of the waste hierarchy, reduce, print businesses can make their process more efficient, reducing raw materials and energy consumption.

There is a strong push towards eco-friendly materials; vegetable-based inks, and certifications like FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) are becoming standard as the industry strives to minimize its environmental footprint.

The future will likely see increased adoption of green policies implemented by Governments, and further innovations that contribute to a more circular economy within the printing sector.


Print-on-demand services are transforming the inventory and distribution aspects of printing. By printing materials only as they are ordered, businesses can eliminate excess inventory, reduce storage costs, and minimize waste. This model is highly scalable and flexible, catering to the needs of publishers, retailers, and individual creators who seek to provide customized content without the risk of overproduction.

The technology supporting print-on-demand continues to advance, promising even faster turnaround times and higher quality outputs, making it an increasingly popular choice for both providers and consumers.

Adapting to the digital age: Print and digital media convergence

Interactive print materials that incorporate digital elements, such as QR codes and augmented reality, are bridging the gap between the two mediums, offering a multi-channel experience to consumers.

Publishers and marketers are exploring ways to blend the tangible appeal of printed materials with the dynamic capabilities of digital media, creating a synergistic effect that enhances engagement and message retention.


It's not surprising that printers can feel threatened by the trends changing what feels like an already turbulent environment. But print businesses have an opportunity to seize.

Print ePS is backed by a 30+ year history of being by the side of all segments of the print industry. Our deep portfolio of cloud-enabled and future-ready software solutions empowers print companies of all types and sizes to drive profitability, reduces cost of sales and manufacturing, and enables successful transformation.