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Intermedia Print Solutions
100 Overlook Center Suite 200, FL 2,
Princeton, NJ 08540

May 8, 2024

5 Key Commercial Printing Industry Trends (2024)

The commercial printing industry is constantly evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of businesses worldwide. From corporate printing solutions to outdoor banners, there are more and more sectors that see innovation. There are advancements not only in technology but also in the way companies handle other types of printing.

There’s also been a push for more sustainable practices due to customer behaviors and interest shifts. 

If you’re wondering what to look out for this year in 2024, look no further. This guide contains all the exciting commercial printing industry trends at the forefront of change.



What is Commercial Printing?

Commercial printing refers to producing printed materials for business purposes, from brochures, company cards, and catalogs to banners, labels, and packaging.

Despite the upsurge of digital marketing channels, the relevance of commercial printing remains due to its ability to provide a tangible and personalized touch that digital platforms often lack. In a digital era filled with constant ads, a well-designed print piece can cut through the noise and leave a lasting impression. 

Graphic Courtesy of Spherical Insights

For instance, consider a well-crafted brochure at a store or museum instead of receiving another email in your overflowing inbox. Which one would grab your attention more?

Commercial printing also plays a crucial role in corporate branding, shaping visual identity through printed materials like letterheads, envelopes, and packaging.

5 Key Commercial Printing Trends in 2024

With the rise of more advanced technologies, here are the printing trends that are becoming popular in 2024.

Graphic Courtesy of Research Nester

1. Variable data printing (VDP)

Variable data printing (VDP) goes beyond standard printing by tailoring different media sets based on client-specified data. It allows businesses to customize printed materials with unique content for each recipient. 

According to Research Nester, the North American region is expected to surpass USD 21.66 billion by the end of 2035 for the variable data printing market. 

This trend revolutionizes direct marketing by enabling businesses to tailor messages, images, and offers based on individual preferences or demographics. For instance, a travel agency could use VDP to create personalized brochures that showcase destinations and activities aligned with each customer's interests.

2. QR code technology

QR codes remain a powerful means in the commercial printing arsenal. In 2024, experts anticipate strategic integration of QR codes in printed materials for seamless bridging of physical and digital realms. Their use has increased recently, with a 323% growth from 2021-2023.

These codes serve as gateways, providing users instant access to additional information, promotions, or interactive experiences. 

Customers can directly purchase items from a retail clothing brand’s online store by scanning QR codes on signage and catalogs. Examples include Dove’s QR codes at bus stops and Nestle's use in packaging for customers to access nutritional information.

QR codes enhance customer convenience, drive online engagement, and offer valuable analytics for businesses to track the success of their printed campaigns.

3. Augmented reality printing

Image Courtesy of Sylvamo

Augmented reality (AR) makes waves in commercial printing by adding an interactive layer to traditional printed materials, which may be of renewable source. Businesses leverage AR to provide immersive and engaging experiences for users. 

For instance, in the whimsical world of "Apollo and the Tree House," children embark on adventures with Apollo and his friends, brought to life through augmented reality technology. Readers can visualize properties in 3D through downloading a Sylvamo+ app and scanning each page with the Sylvamo+ AR lens.

4. Sustainable printing practices

In 2024, sustainability will take center stage in the commercial printing industry. Businesses are increasingly adopting eco-friendly printing practices to reduce their environmental footprint. 

These habits include using recycled and responsibly sourced materials, environmentally friendly inks, and energy-efficient printing processes. One example of a company embracing sustainability is Alima Pure, which uses soy-based inks.

Integrating sustainability into printing processes aligns with corporate social responsibility, enhancing a brand's image as consumers become more eco-conscious. 

5. 3D printing in commercial applications

While 3D printing has been a revolutionary force in manufacturing, its impact extends to commercial printing.

In 2024, businesses are exploring 3D printing to create intricate and customized promotional items, prototypes, and packaging. This includes additive manufacturing that results in personalized raised lettering using, for example, Picquic tools. 

This trend opens new possibilities for unique, eye-catching printed materials beyond the traditional flat surface. Consider applications like 3D-printed logos for promotional giveaways or customized bottle packaging for limited-edition products.

Best Practices to Leverage Commercial Printing Trends

It's best to embrace the latest trends and adopt best practices to maximize their impact. Here are some of the guidelines that you can utilize:

Utilize flexible print technology

Flexible printing technology is a versatile printing method that allows for the dynamic customization and adaptation of printed materials, which is perfect for variable data printing.

This technology is precious when brands need to tailor information to specific recipients. They can also find applications in the packaging industry, conveying product information and branding on labels, pouches, and flexible materials.

Partner with the right commercial printer

Choosing the right commercial printer significantly impacts the success of printed materials. Partnering with a printer that understands the nuances of your industry and aligns with your specific needs ensures a seamless and high-quality printing process. 

For instance, if you have a luxury brand, collaborate with printing services known for their expertise in specialty finishes to enhance the visual appeal of your product packaging. The right printer becomes a valuable ally, offering insights into material selection, printing techniques, and cost-effective solutions.

Sprinting to Get Ahead in Printing

The evolution of commercial printing trends in 2024 reflects a dynamic shift towards personalized, adaptable, and eco-conscious strategies. From the flexibility of variable data printing to the draw of interactivity in outdoor banners, businesses are reshaping their narratives on events marketing and other initiatives.

For your next marketing campaign, consider Intermedia Print Solutions. We offer cutting-edge solutions for enhancing your brand through design, eco-friendliness, and multisensory experiences.

Visit our website for more information or check out our products.


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