Before the boxes are made, the paper printed and the logo published, there is the process of knowing what your packaging will look like. The designing and ideating is the beginning of the journey. Once you know what you want, this is where pre-press comes in.
Pre-press includes all the processes between creating the layout and the final printing. From artwork and consultations, colour management to digital proofing, Pre-press includes services that require technology as well as creativity.
The Pre-Press Market
As more and more companies want to align their packaging with evolving consumer preferences and tastes, pre-press printing has emerged as an ideal way to keep on track of changes and creativity. The Pre-press Packaging Market in the year 2018 was valued at ~US$ 3.5 Bn and is predicted to see a CAGR of ~4% during the forecasted period. It certainly is a big deal in the packaging industry to make sure the mocks, colors, and pixels are picture-perfect, and they are ready to pay for it!
In the pre-press industry, every solution must help the product stand out. Each task is to be done in perfection within an alarmingly short time. How does the industry manage such high expectations?
Growing consumer affinity towards innovative – attractive packaging and bright- interactive packaging has been a demand that the industry needs to take head-on. Because of this demand, as well as the advances in flexographic and digital printing, the growth of the pre-press for packaging market is expected to grow close to US$ 5 billion by the end of the forecast period (2019-2027).
The flexibility of printing is on a range of different materials, including cellophane, metallic films, plastic, and paper, among others, differentiates Flexographic printing from the rest. It enables brands to print large areas of solid colour, particularly on packages in the food & beverage sector. It improves the clarity of the graphics on packages by a significant margin because of the high-definition printing on roll stock/polybags. It is an apt tool to utilize when making eye-catching interactive packaging.
Despite the dominance of flexographic printing in the pre-press packaging market, the digital printing segment is expected to witness its highest growth at a CAGR of around 4.4% over the stipulated timeframe of the study.
Evolution of Pre-Press
The traditional ways are changing. Slow and bulky machines are being replaced with sleek computers and digital software. Digital printing technology has already improved the quality of the prints by a vast margin, and flexographic printing providers are slowly shifting to digital printing. The digital printing segment is expected to see its highest growth at a CAGR of around 4.4% over the stipulated period of study. The growth can be assigned to the benefits offered through digital printing methods over conventional alternatives. Digital printing enables brands to cater to changing consumer preferences with higher efficiency. It thereby improves the supply chain and reduces warehouse costs.
The United States is anticipated to account for more than 30% of the global pre-press packaging market share in the year 2019, designated to increasing technological developments in the print and packaging industries of the region. India, China, and other ASEAN countries account for the second-largest share of the pre-press for packaging market in 2019, owing to the increasing population that translates into strong demand for flexible packaging.
The role of the pre-press has drastically changed over the last decade. Packaging has become much more important, and the competition for brands is at a global level. The entire industry is evolving towards digital printing because of the benefits it offers. With the ever-evolving consumer preferences at the helm of the demand, greater efficiency at a faster speed is what makes pre-press an important part of the packaging process. Innovations such as 3-D printing of AR seem to be the next big thing. Pre-press will always evolve. A better and faster version of the service will always be in demand. The boost of pre-press for the packaging market comes as a result of increased awareness about the importance of improving brand value, growing preference for aesthetic packaging in the retail sector, as well as various other promotional activities.