Catalog Printing--An Evolving Market Thrives
From Hutchison's standpoint, the Internet is also the wave of the future. Judd's OnLine division helps publishers, direct marketers and other businesses create Web capabilities and e-commerce solutions.
"This division is growing very rapidly, and it is our window to the current complementary nature of the Web to ink-on-paper catalogs," he remarks. "Direct marketers are using the Web very effectively to interact with customers. We think the trend will continue and the use of the Internet by direct marketers, in conjunction with catalogs, will increase their reach and return."
For catalogs, the year 1999 will be remembered as one of modest growth for the industry, according to John R. Paloian, group president for Montreal-based Quebecor World. A strong consumer market and the balance of postal and paper costs encouraged aggressive prospecting, he believes, particularly in the fall mailings.
Paloian also notes that 1999 marks catalogs achieving virtually all-digital prepress workflows, which speaks well for the continued introduction of more efficient, creative and productive workflow tools.
"We expect 2000 to represent a similar pattern to 1999; however, the impact of e-commerce will begin to be more clearly defined as the year progresses," he says. "The paper/postal equation will again impact the print decision—affecting formats, page counts, and both the quality and basis weight of paper."
Paloian sees catalog personalization becoming even more intensive. The concept's value proposition will be targeted to specific audiences with appropriate graphics and customized messages.