It seems like a century ago already, but in fact, it was only recently that printing presses were large machines, literally mechanical giants that were ugly, noisy and cumbersome to operate. Apart from the enormous costs to purchase the presses, the high costs to operate them influenced prices to clients. Printing and packaging powerhouse, Colourtone Aries says that in the modern world of printing, the size and price of litho presses are still enormous, but more modern, quieter and the speed and accuracy of their output has eased the pressure on costs charged to clients, while quality has improved significantly to match what we have come to expect from digital printing.
Colourtone Aries director, Robert Bywater says, “Printing has moved into a radical period. Modern high speed and high volume printing methodologies has seen the introduction of technologically advanced presses that offer the quality that marketers demand. We are under no illusion; investing in state-of-the-art presses carries a hefty price tag. It is the significant advantages that excite us in installing machines that can offer our clients enormous benefit, not only with regards to costs, but with the speed to market of printed material together with greater flexibility.”
There is no doubt; consumers remain influenced by printed marketing material and we are still some distance away from an entirely online marketing culture. Modern printing presses and the growth in digital printing solutions provides marketers with a range of cost-effective alternatives for myriad printing requirements. With a focus on cost and quality all forms of printing, from large format, multiple runs to single sheet digital printing, provide options for marketers to reach their target audience.
“What is of benefit to marketers,” continues Robert, “is the flexibility on offer from a variety of printing presses. Whether it is litho printing for larger runs or digital for smaller, customised runs, modern day printers are able to tailor a solution that involves litho, digital or a combination of both printing methods.”
The market was filled with predictions that the Internet would be the final blow for printers. Colourtone Aries confirms that printed marketing material will remain the preferred medium for communication for a significant period of time still, especially in the South African context. With such a diverse market demographic, consumers come from a wide spectrum of communities and the majority still relate to printed communications.
A paperless society is still a dream for environmentalists, but for marketers, in the meantime, print methodologies are radical, advanced and a key component of marketing strategies in companies across the world. Those large, rather more attractive looking, modern machines are deeply entrenched in print factories worldwide.