Market Watch

U.S.8200;Commercial Printing Revenues to Rise


U.S. Commercial Printing Revenues to Rise

Growth will be driven by ongoing technological changes.

Revenues from the U.S. commercial printing industry, which represents pre-press and printing services on a job order basis, are expected to increase 1.3 percent per year to $82 billion in 2011, according to “Commercial Printing,” a new study from The Freedonia Group. Inc.

Growth in commercial printing revenues will be driven by ongoing technological changes that make it easier to create higher quality and more customized prints at a faster rate. Gains will also be aided by ongoing adjustments in print production in response to changing consumer preferences, particularly in terms of cost, timing and sizes of print runs.

Further advances in commercial printing will depend on the ability of commercial printers to adapt to the increasingly competitive and evolving market environment in light of the growth of electronic media. Gains will be restrained by competition from in-house printing, and to a lesser extent, foreign-based printers.

Other finders from the study include:

•Lithographic printing accounted for more than 65 percent of commercial printing revenues in 2006, despite negative growth. The dominance of this process is largely due to its wide variety of markets and its relatively low cost. Lithographic printing, the most common version of which is offset printing, benefits from a variety of performance advantages, including consistent image quality, long plate life and low ink consumption, as well as its ability to be used on a variety of substrates.

•Digital printing is projected to achieve the strongest gains through 2011 because of its lower cost, quick turnaround and ease of customization for short runs. This rapid growth is expected to power digital printing to soon surpass screen printing to account for the second largest share of commercial printing revenues. Other printing processes include flexo and gravure, as well as letterpress, engraving, intaglio and thermography.

•In 2006, advertising was the largest applications for commercial printing. Despite competition from non-print advertising, print advertising continues to grow because print offers greater consumer targeting and the familiarity and portability that many consumers still prefer. Additionally, print is seen as being able to cut through the clutter of other advertising media in that consumers reliably look at their mail for at least a moment, and advertising inserts remain one of the most popular sections of a newspapers. The label and wrapper printing segment is expected to post the strongest growth through 2011 because of interest in customized labeling and other higher value printing and specialty graphics on such packaging.

“Commercial Printing” is available for $4,400 from The Freedonia Group. For more information, contact Corinne Gangloff at (440) 684-9600; fax: (440) 646-0484; e-mail:; web: