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Printers Evolving Into Communications Companies

Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Printers Evolving Into Communications Companies," discusses the future of print organizations that are embracing media innovation while integrating digital communication aspects, thereby transforming the commercial print business model. The future print business paradigm is well-positioned to spread exponentially, partly driven by the overwhelming challenges digital privacy and cybersecurity serve up to the security table. Several news outlets report that some QR codes are under attack and may divert QR destinations to fake sites. In other words, clicking on these codes can inadvertently allow cybercriminals to access the personal credit card and other personal data. We'll cover a brief summation as to how to be aware of fake QR codes. For now, we want to shed light on how rapidly the print business model is morphing into an entire service communications infrastructure.

Our Quote of the Day:  "You can't have an industrial revolution, you can't have democracies, you can't have populations who can govern themselves until you have literacy. The printing press simply unlocked literacy." — Howard Rheingold

The Future Of Print Defined

Technological advancements in print hardware and software have quietly but successfully fostered the print industry outlook over the past several years. We've seen new digital printing presses that can create short runs and accept data for creating highly personalized direct mail and have the capability to reproduce color output on par with the printing presses that feature four-color plates.

These technological advancements enable the print industry to evolve into a full-fledged communications company. In a nutshell, the takeaway for printing organizations that are heading full-steam into the future involves:

  • Embracing exciting new waves of communication and media innovation.
  • Embracing speed and change as key
  • Understanding that the industry is ready for expansion, especially given the over-saturation and privacy issues that digital platforms currently encounter.

Printing by the Year 2025

Top printing executives have come to the same conclusion. Significant changes are forthcoming in an industry that hither fore had primarily been stagnant. Printing companies that are considered top tier are already embracing the idea of integrating digital technology, and are embracing innovations, and opting to become more customized. A good part of this innovation demonstrates a future that will yield fewer manufacturers, printers, and merchants. As the timeless Biblical adage states, "Many are called but few are chosen," could be apropos, in that print companies that are rapidly adopting new technologies are the firms that will thrive and blossom. In short, the VP and General Manager of Lindenmeyr Munroe, Michael Cooper, states, "A well-positioned printer is really becoming a communications company, offering solutions well above and beyond a traditional print facility."

Engaging In Innovation

Jay K. Goldscher, the President and CEO of the Printing and Graphics Association of the Mid-Atlantic (PGAMA), provides an innovative example of a company that printed the Charlotte Hornets basketball floor. This example decries what many might consider being a traditional print job. Goldscher observes that this perception that print is declining in the conventional sense is misguided and not correctly diagnosed.

Goldscher states, "When you look around today, everything you see is printed, but people don't connect that with the printing industry. And that's the future, the future is yet to be written, because it's whatever the demand will be, whether it be printing wall coverings, or other things."

Goldscher further cites industry icon Frank Romano's new book, "The New Print Industry," that anticipates a plethora of future divergent print applications. "It's going to be messy, it's going to be disruptive—and vibrant. We're hundreds of billions of dollars in the economy. We're going to continue to be. But it's going to change," according to Goldscher.

Speaking of basketball floors, one can also take a gander at the Brooklyn Nets floor, which can change from a conservative look to a grunge presentation with the appearance of smeared ink extending from the logo on the center court. Hence, another example of innovative print technology.

Today, a full-service print and mail solutions provider that has amassed the expertise, staff, infrastructure, equipment, secure data lifecycle management competence, as well as mailing and tracking mechanisms under one roof, can alleviate any previous concerns marketers may have had. There is still a need for a full-service commercial print partner such as Dove Direct in the digital world. With over 34 years of integrated business solutions experience, the organization takes pride in its ability to impact branding and marketing through the sensory experience of print.

When an organization needs to create highly effective personalized direct mail campaigns that require creation, mailing, and tracking, the SE Region Atlanta printer can deliver a personalized direct mail experience to each customer.  Therefore, Dove Direct should be on your list of commercial print and mail providers when deciding to outsource an entire project.

Print Embraces Innovation

While print has recently begun to adopt ways to incorporate digital media, that relationship will only increase given the opportunities to partner with digital media. Regardless of the evolution to access online content in the coming years, print continues to drive web access and engagement numbers. In short, print is a reliable access point for web traffic. That said, human behavior is known to prefer holding and touching printed collateral in their hands. The tactility print provides is critical and highly effective in generating recall and pushing the motivation to act. In addition, the tactile element also offers longevity which in turn adds to the print collateral medium's long-term practical viability. Further, print collateral can be dazzling and arresting. All of these reasons, and then some, translates into a more thoughtful, more effective method to drive online traffic.

Ryan T. Sauers, President of Sauers Consulting, states, "Print is still going to remain relevant in five years because you want to drive someone online, whatever online is going to look like. It could literally be your hand five years from now. They're going to somehow amalgamate online and offline and that will keep print relevant."

Stephanie Hill, Senior Business Development Manager, HP Graphic Solutions Business, Americas, states that her organization is aiding the efforts to push those integrations. "At HP, we're very much a part of the future. There's an interconnectedness that I'm not sure print service providers, or the print community in general, realize or exploit as much as we can. We're not apart from the 21st century; we are very much a part. I'm really excited about this!" Hill points out that the new Nintendo Switch game, Labo, employs printed cardboard costumes that enable users to experience being robots. The conclusion is that both AR and VR technologies will provide outstanding opportunities for print in the near future.

Another innovation is how print methodology has become digitally based, with printing presses emerging with smaller footprints that are increasingly more efficient. Kenny Grady, Manager of Global Print Production at Gartner, states, "It's just amazing the things that are creeping in. I used to work on an offset web press that was the size of a building, and it didn't print a whole lot more than what a little digital web press is doing." Printing organizations that embrace new innovative digital technologies will come to the fore at lightning speed.

An additional engagement opportunity comes from 3D printing innovations that merge print and digital technologies. 3D printing embodies current technology while increasing innovative methods that create new technologies. For example, 3D printing utilizes the same heads found in inkjet printers, albeit from a divergent medium. Hill says, "So this is repurposed technology that takes us into the next decade or so. That's what makes it sort of fascinating. From HP's perspective, it's a big jump in technology. But we reuse that technology and adapt it for future applications without having to reinvent the wheel." In other words, in some cases, giant leaps are only a few tweaks away. 

Wide Format Is Huge

Advancing technology positions improve more comprehensive print collateral. Cooper states, "Wide format is the new way people are marketing, especially on the retail end. The use of windows, walls, floors, and the ability to change that messaging rapidly and relatively inexpensively, is driving it." Goldscher agrees, "Large format is growing big. They're now printing digital wallpaper and décor, even doing ceramic tiles with digital printing. It's broadening out into other things and other areas. I think that's the biggest thing."  Other advancements brands should keep an eye on include; Online Integration, Print Personalization, Web-To-Print Portals, Amount and Speed of Changes, Subscription Boxes, Packaging, and Inkjet Technology.

Quick Ways to Use QR Codes Safely

QR codes are so convenient; however, we would be remiss not to mention how to safely navigate them since they have become the focus of rising cyber security challenges. We cannot emphasize the importance of a secure website. Look for the "HTTPS" or the appearance of a lock icon that is generally visible in the address bar for a typical website, which in essence, tells the user that the site is secure and therefore safe to visit. However, QR codes all appear to look the same. Consequently, you must ensure that you can view the entire URL that directs you to a site. When you experience a short link, consider that as a definite warning sign, that the link you are about to click on is not legitimate.

Short links can hide where the QR code is directing the user. In many cases, while appearing to be harmless, these directives are, in fact, malicious sites.  When you aim your device at a QR code, you should know with certainty where that code will take you.

Lastly, please pay special attention to QR codes posted in public places, as they too could be malicious in nature. 

The Net-Net

Commercial printing organizations that can offer creative print and communication solutions ranging from print to digital and combinations thereof are most likely the organizations that have transformed their business models into communications platform providers. These are the organizations that are paving the way for the future of print. They are also a notable entry for building a relationship with a reputable print communications solution provider. Thanks for reading "Printers Evolving Into Communications Companies!"

Let's talk about integrated business solutions and how they can move your messages forward, help grow your business, change behavior, and improve the customer experience. Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce costs, and maximize your organization's printing, letter shop, and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct has an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices to save you time and money. We can even create a demo file for you. For more information, call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Dove Direct, your Atlanta vertical integrated print and mail solutions provider, offers organizations end-to-end data, printing, and mailing solutions: 

  • Data Management
  • Variable Digital/Data Printing
  • LetterShop and Fulfillment 
  • Digital Mail Scanning Services
  • Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau
  • Marketing and Production Management Support
  • Secure Data Life Cycle Management

If you don't want to wait, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or complete the Contact Form.

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