Printing Prospers in the eye of Covid 19
To say 2020 has thrown the print and mail industry a curveball may go down in history as one of the many understatements of the year. So how is the print industry dealing with the past 7 months, for a change I wanted to take a look at the positive outcome of all that is happening and share my thoughts that they may be a few silver linings out there.
Whilst some areas, mainly Graphic Arts, have been hit severely, point of sale documentation, advertising, business cards, flyers are not really needed in these times, even heavily logo’d fast food cartons down from the mass production point of view, but thankfully leaving our streets a lot nicer to look at.
The good news, for some, is that Parking and Speeding Tickets are significantly down on 2019, I have no statistics to back this up, call it a hunch, but thinking about the dust on my own car when I revisited it back in June and judging by the mileage I have not done, I am just saying I think this may be one of the few positives to come from all of this.
Debt collection to has been hit or at least those owed or collecting it have taken a more lenient view, common sense has prevailed it would see whilst people have had genuine reasons to not be able to manage their money.
For many printers out there, especially the ones connected with Government, Health and Financial organisations volumes are up, yes up! The messaging that needed to be sent to every household meant that the good old-fashioned mail service and a letter through our door was the only way they could demonstrate that they were addressing to everyone. The efforts made by the government to encourage financial institutions to help people whist earnings were affected more than ever led to changing interest rates, changes to terms and conditions and initiatives they wanted us all to know about, great news for all those concerned.
That being said, when we did choose to spending our money, we all stopped wanting to use cash, transactions for our bank accounts up, surged even, the smallest thing now being purchased with the tap on the side of a card terminal, papers, coffees, snacks, all things small change would normally be purchased with and who wants to touch change anymore? Now each a line on our statements causing 1000’s of pages of new print, surely something that people in print can now look forward to as this is going to carry on as the ‘new norm’.
Staying at home of course caused a major surge also in books being produced, both for our relaxation and enjoyment, as well as educational as for those with young families became responsible for home learning. Even colouring books for both the young and the old to help pass the time, I never knew some of the themes for the adult clients even existed apparently for the more exotic among us…
So as we have all seen from the footmarks we are told where to stand on and the vast amount of banners supporting the fantastic job our National Health Service has done, print has found different ways to prosper, whilst menu printing has declined and possibly may never return.
Even the print manufacturers whilst losing in some of the more mainstream areas have managed to prosper in these difficult times. Drupa was cancelled causing disruption, or did it, were decisions allowed to go forwards earlier based on the information people already had, did the cancellation lead to launches early on-line, many manufactures took advantage of this and it would seem many manufactures where able to install despite the lockdown and in the resulting months since. There has also been a huge surge in the ‘Home Office’ set up, desk top printers, laptops, paper, paper really yes good old blank A4 packs of paper through the roof and ink cartridges becoming sort after commodities. Who would have thought that ink selling out would lead in desperation to people just buying a new printer which there was ink available for, difficult to imagine that, even the 3rd party ink providers selling out in some products. In some places keeping up with and fulfilling the demand has been the challenge with some manufacturers forming relationships with those organisations already better equipped and with an infrastructure to deal with the mass distribution called for, unimaginable eight months ago.
Thankfully Print, as always, has found a way to prosper in the strange times, Covid times, in adversity we did not fail, we found ourselves again in different places sure and things may never be the same, but thankfully most of us are still here.