"We’re so excited to be able to start using the HP Indigo 7K to produce elevated end products that fit a number of high-value niches that most small printers and many large ones can’t fill,” said Doug Bondon, Artisan Colour President and CEO. “We are looking forward to breaking open new opportunities for the company with this technically advanced digital press!” Part of the HP Indigo 7K’s versatility is the ability to individually configure the seven available color units based on the niche markets the shop supports. In addition to the traditional Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black inks, Artisan has chosen to dedicate one ink channel to actual (not emulated) Pantone spot colors. A very small percentage of the market has this capability, which has traditionally made smaller quantity runs more costly on an offset press. Now Artisan clients can get Pantone spot colors for their brand at the reduced cost of a digital press.
This week, Semper International, the leading placement firm for skilled talent in the printing, pre-media and marketing industries, launched its quarterly economic insight report. The current survey shows the industry is also feeling the impact of economic pressures, with company profits, sales and hiring all reporting signs of strain.
Based on this quarter’s data, the inflection point Semper reported last quarter has led into something more negative — with this report revealing survey respondents exploring ways to hedge their economic bets by reducing investments and keeping a hawk’s eye on the bottom line.
Since February 2003, Semper International has provided a quarterly survey offering estimates of trends in the printing and graphics industries. Survey participants include a cross section of large, mid-size and small commercial printers, advertising agencies and media companies; both clients and prospects of Semper International. Participants provide data on revenue and hiring as well as estimated outlooks on future trends. Data is requested from a random sample and are not screened. To preserve confidentiality, individual company information is not part of the tabulation.
“In looking for signs of optimism, I have no doubt we as an industry will continue to weather the storms,” insists Semper CEO and Report author David Regan, “Demand never happens in a straight line—it always flexes up and down based on a myriad of trends and annual cycles. In the last 14+ years that we have been conducting this survey, the one thing I can always consistently rely on is how effectively we meet challenges. Our industry has become much more productive, modern and evolving to whatever the economic climate or other realities have dictated.”
Additional insights revealed in the Semper insight report include:
- The general economy rule concerns among survey participants, with 33% reporting it is a primary threat to them right now
- Less than 50% of companies expect sales to increase through the end of 2016
- Good news: two-week sales increases almost doubled in this survey — growing to 39% of all firms
- 57% of firms are currently investing in diversification efforts
- 12% will reduce staff headcount this quarter — but nearly 60% will hire