Viewing Printing Through Fresh Eyes
Welcome to my PrintSpective blog. My name is Nick Gawreluk and I am currently a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). I am a New Media Publishing major, pursuing a concentration in print production.
I have been exposed to printing since my sophomore year in high school and through some great opportunities, I have been able to be involved in the industry for the past three years. Through this blog, I would like to share with you what attracted me to the printing industry, how I became involved in it, and what my current views of it are. Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts as well.
I find it an interesting time to reflect on the printing industry and observe its current state. I view it as a valuable learning point in my early career to identify and learn from the effects of the recession and how the industry has been impacted, as well as seeing how trends and technology unfold. I particularly enjoy observing how progressive companies are strategically using this time to refocus and diversify in order to stay on top.
Recently, I attended the 62nd annual TAGA conference in San Diego. I enjoyed the warm weather and it was a great opportunity to get out of cloudy Rochester. At the conference, some of my favorite presentations came from the general manager of Kodak’s Inkjet Platform Center as well as the vice president of commercial web sales from manroland.
It was interesting to hear both speakers discuss their companies’ focus on technology and development in print. On one side, I took in what the Kodak presentation had on digital growth. It focused on Stream technology and its future effect on enabling the migration of printed pages from analog to digital. At the other end, I listened to the manroland presentation on how offset press technology is adapting and evolving to meet the demands of different market segments.
The digital vs. offset debate is nothing new to me, but as I reflected on both presentations, I felt I gained a better understanding on what each technology is aiming to accomplish in the current state of the industry. I can foresee that the future of printing is going to be in digital, but at the same time there are major things that it cannot yet compete with, such as offset speed and quality.
A key concept that I picked up from both speakers was the specific markets and cost effectiveness that both offset and digital fall within. When I first compared offset and digital, I thought in terms of the differences in the technologies and how they compared to one another. But I realized I never went as far as to think of how these similarities and differences cause an effect on certain markets segments and how big of a role this plays in the industry.
I look forward to seeing the progression of both technologies’ and what effect they will have on one another. I will also be keeping an eye on Heidelberg, as they look to re-enter the digital print market, since leaving in 2004 and selling its digital print division to Kodak.