Digital Printing Continues to Grow in Popularity

Published May 20, 2020

When it comes to product packaging design and even secondary packaging, digital printing, in all its many forms, is currently on-trend. In fact, according to Packaging Digest, this industry jumped from being worth $7.3 billion in 2013 to a whopping $15.3 billion by 2018. That’s more than double the value in a mere five years!

But what could have possibly accounted for this growth? We’ll examine several explanations, as well as recommendations for who should hop on this burgeoning practice. Let’s get started.

Reasons Behind the Digital Printing Craze

The contents of your corrugated boxes haven’t actually changed, but digital printing technology certainly has. We’re willing to bet your customers have shown an interest in this technology for one or more of the following reasons.

1. It’s Aesthetically Appealing

Psychologically speaking, we as a species are far more likely to be drawn to a box with eye-catching fonts and designs on the outside than a bare brown one—even if we know, logically, that they both contain the same product. And for buyers who don’t know immediately what’s inside a box, original external printing suggests an equally-original product within.

For example, digital printing often accompanies subscription boxes, which are also increasing in popularity. A food subscription box digitally printed with a whimsical red font (a color scientifically proven to increase appetite) could literally leave your customer salivating. Add a striking graphic to the mix, and they won’t be able to get your brand out of their head.

2. It’s Waste-Reductive

Because digitally-printed packaging is so customized, much of it is produced on-demand. And tailoring your boxes to a specific audience, or with a specific exterior design, means you’re actually using less material. It may sound counterintuitive in the sense that you’re investing more time and energy in the box packaging design itself, but it can actually work quite well for companies that ship small batches of specialized products.

This is also something of a win-win situation, considering the increase in waste bans worldwide and the general public’s growing interest in environmentalism. Many manufacturers are already opting for alternative packaging; why not add digital printing to these sustainable packages while you’re at it?

3. It’s Cost-Effective

Remember what we said about methods of digital printing becoming that much more high-tech? We’re talking specifically about both electrophotography and inkjet. Advancements in these fields mean you’re saving quite a bit of money on them—certainly more than you would have were you to digitally print something five or ten years ago.

This benefit applies to companies of all sizes, so if you’re a small business with a limited budget, digital product packaging design is still within your means.

Who Should Be Using Digital Printing?

Take a look below to determine whether your company might benefit from making the shift.

Companies That Want to Engage With Their Customers

Remember the “Share a Coke With ….” craze of several years ago? Coca-Cola used digital printing to mass-print custom labels with different names on them. And how could a customer resist—i.e., what could beat the simple joy of finding your name, at last, on one of those coke bottles (especially if your name wasn’t very common)?

The takeaway is that you want your customers to get excited about your project, whether you’re shipping it to them in colorful subscription boxes or sending it to stores in sleek packages. Secondary packaging may not have consumers racing into the back of a warehouse and pulling your product down in a frenzy (as they might have done with a coke can), but it’s a great model to keep in mind when thinking about how you want to present your brand.

Companies Seeking to Solidify Their Brand Presence

Could your product benefit from a signature color scheme or font of some sort? Of course, this depends on your target audience, but we’re willing to bet that most of the time, the answer is yes.

Think of the cheerful colors and graphics adorning most subscription boxes. Even the logos boast bright colors and fun fonts, helping to reinforce exactly what kind of company is selling the product. If you’re seeking to appeal directly to consumers, consider giving your packaging a makeover with a digitally printed design.

Stay Ahead of Packaging Trends With the Perfect Packaging Partner

As digital printing continues to grow in popularity, you’ll want to pair your creative blueprint with packaging equipment that keeps your production process running smoothly. At INSITE, our case sealers and case erectors are sleek, smart, and above all, simple—the cherry on top of a well-made product. We’re committed to bringing you the very best in advanced technology. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

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