Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Evolution of a Printer

The phrase “cassette player” has joined the ranks of words that have been eliminated from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary.  Apparently, a cassette player fits into the category of “obsolete technology”.  One might wonder if the term “traditional printer” will soon face a similar fate, with the changes in the publishing industry, the rise of digital books and textbooks, and the reduction of large print runs resulting from print-on-demand services.  

Many printers embraced the new technologies and transitioned to digital printing, guiding their businesses beyond just plates and ink.  Digital printing, which  links printing presses to computers and works with toner instead of offset printing plates, results in lowered production and set-up costs, faster turnaround times, and the ability to personalize documents more easily. 

To stay ahead of the curve, the next generation of digital printers are reinventing themselves once more.  They are evolving into full-service enterprises offering capabilities in Variable Data Printing (VDP); direct mail campaigns; design services; customized software solutions; shopping cart services; eBook conversions; and data cleansing/analytics. Multi-channel or cross-media marketing is another growth area that takes advantage of the new mediums such as PURLs(Personalized URLs), QR bar codes, mobile devices, and social networking.

The new age printers, of course, will continue to honor their proud tradition of printing books and other materials for their customers.  But the printer “redefined” is a proactive partner.  In this expanded role, they are instrumental in helping customers to create and disseminate print and digital content to targeted audiences through a range of communication channels.