Monday, July 18, 2011

What's on your wish list for Drupa 2012?

It's less than a year until the mother of all trade shows, Drupa, reappears to once again shape the future of all things print.  While the rhythm of print shows swings to Chicago and Graph Expo this year, most eyes are on May of 2012 when we'll get a chance to see the mavens of print manufacturing unveil what has been in process for much of the past years since Drupa 2008.

I see the printing industry at yet another tipping point.  It was big news when HP had the largest footprint at Ipex last year, overtaking the traditional offset manufacturers. And in a year where the biggest photo trade show in the US, PMA, is co-locating with CES in January, it will be interesting to see how the move to more electronic publishing is going to influence the folks whose main business is ink on paper.

When Blurb launched, we repurposed presses, DFEs, and binding equipement that was really made for other uses.  At Ipex there was a growth in new machinery that was more dedicated toward the POD book marketplace.  I'd like to see more of this, allowing larger digital printers like those in our global print network to continue to improve productivity, quality and price which will allow the self-publishing marketplace to continue to thrive.  I'd like to see the advances made in PUR binding continue beyond the few options currently available.  I hope to see high-speed ink jet keep improving print quality to the point that it rivals that of the best offset printing.  And I'd like to see lower priced entry-level presses to help to expand the global reach of companies like ours. Oh, yeah, and larger sheet sizes.  And faster.

What advances would you like to see at Drupa next year?

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