1. Evolving print Trends

Navigating the shift: Evolving trends in print ordering

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Connect BlogApr 11 2024

Posted by Rick Bellamy, Former CEO of RPI


Evolving print Trends

In the era of digital dominance, the role of print media has undergone a profound transformation. Print ordering trends, once characterized by long-run production and mass distribution, are adapting to meet the dynamic demands of modern consumers. This transformation is not merely a reflection of technological advancements but also a response to shifting consumer preferences and market dynamics. In this blog, we delve into the changes in print ordering trends and explore how print companies can navigate this landscape, remain relevant, and scale the growth and profitability of their companies. For those that do this is a golden age for the print industry.

Personalization and customization


The one-size-fits-all approach of long-run production no longer works in a market driven by personalized experiences. Digital media changes in real-time based on your personal preferences and behavior. Today consumers expect their content to be customized to their preferences and demographics and as a secondary channel to digital media, print ordering trends have shifted towards personalization and customization.

Whether it's personalized marketing collateral, bespoke packaging, or customized merchandise, consumers increasingly seek unique and memorable interactions with brands. Leveraging variable data printing capabilities, businesses are incorporating personalized elements seamlessly into their print orders, enhancing engagement and loyalty.

Rise of digital on-demand printing

screen printing process

Gone are the days of long-run print and warehousing of excess inventory. The advent of on-demand digital printing has revolutionized the print industry, allowing businesses to produce only what is needed when it is needed. This not only allows print to be personalized and offers greater flexibility in responding to changing markets, but also reduces waste and overhead costs 

Today digital print allows the personalization of content in real time, which is a compliment to digital media channels that are delivered in a couple of days. Because of this, digital print is growing at a CAGR of over 8% globally.

Integration of digital and print channels

04_Pros and cons of using Etsy for your business

Contrary to the notion of print versus digital, the modern landscape incorporates an omnichannel approach where the impact of premium physical products leaves a lasting impression that compliments the digital messages. Print ordering trends reflect this integration of digital and print channels. This integrated approach maximizes reach and engagement while capitalizing on the strengths of each medium. It also means that the old method of ordering print, via project-based methods with a print buyer getting bids and managing the project is no longer viable.

Today print is part of an integrated program with direct integrations with e-commerce, marketing automation, and CRMs, to create a unique or customized piece for each person that matches their personal preferences. That means today’s print companies have to be technologically advanced with software platforms to accept orders directly from their customer's systems, automatically process the files, and track the individual piece through production and delivery to ensure that the right piece of content goes to the right person in a couple of days. In the recent past print companies had to build their own platforms to achieve this level of customization. However, today platforms like Gelato’s Connect allow print companies to scale their businesses without the corresponding overhead of a large development team.

Sustainability and eco-consciousness:


In an age of heightened environmental awareness, sustainability has become a key consideration in print ordering decisions. Businesses are increasingly prioritizing eco-friendly materials and practices, opting for recycled paper, soy-based inks, and energy-efficient production processes. Moreover, the shift towards on-demand printing helps minimize waste and reduce carbon footprints associated with excess inventory and transportation.

Platforms like Gelato Connect allows businesses to produce locally eliminating over 50% of the carbon compared to centrally produced products. By aligning with sustainable printing practices, businesses not only appeal to environmentally conscious consumers but also contribute to long-term environmental stewardship.


The evolution of print ordering trends reflects a broader paradigm shift in market dynamics, consumer preferences, and technological capabilities. Print companies that embrace these changes and adapt accordingly are thriving in a landscape characterized by innovation and agility. By leveraging on-demand printing technologies, embracing personalization and sustainability, integrating digital and print channels, and implementing technology-assisted manufacturing print companies can navigate the evolving terrain of print, increasing revenues and profits.


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