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InfoTrends/CAP Ventures’ New Study Examines the Current State and Future Outlook of Commercial Printing in the United States

(Weymouth, MA) February 02, 2005…InfoTrends/CAP Ventures is pleased to announce the release of a new, landmark study entitled The Changing Print for Pay Market: The Future of Commercial Printing. The research in this document examines the full range of the commercial printing market, probing the current state of the industry as well as future requirements. It examines business plans, brand preferences, and current practices while providing a road map for success for commercial printers and their vendors.

“With over 500 in-depth surveys and extensive secondary research, this study is the most comprehensive of its kind available today,” commented Charlie Corr, a Group Director at InfoTrends/CAP Ventures. “This research supports our contention that the industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation that will radically transform the industry over the remaining part of this decade.”

Key findings that are contributing to the market’s change are as follows:

  • The commercial printing industry has not experienced precipitous declines. While many establishments have left the competitive landscape, average revenue per establishment has actually exceeded inflation by about 2 points over the past six years.
  • Valued-added sales in the printing industry actually outperformed inflation.
  • Almost all industry growth came from printers who described themselves as digital print specialists.
  • The study concluded that the commercial printing industry is a highly competitive manufacturing market that effectively leverages technology to reduce prices for customers and increase value for business owners.
  • Over the next two years, survey participants expect revenues from offset to decline 7.7%, revenues from digital printing to increase 5.5%, and revenues from value-added services to grow 2.3%.
  • While the industry retains a manufacturing focus, it is moving to more of a service orientation.
  • 77.8% of the respondents claim that “reducing production cost and improving efficiency is a current business strategy,” but many lack the plans to effectively achieve this goal.

This study provides detailed information on applications, customers, purchasing plans, and brand preferences. It includes extensive cross-tabulations and critical data that will help businesses to develop strategies for a turbulent future.

This document is also the first of its kind to leverage the new North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). NAICS was first adopted in the United States, Canada, and Mexico in 1997 and was used in the 2002 U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Census documents that were published for the printing industry in the fall of 2004.

“As we emerge from what many have described as the worst economic period in memory for the printing industry, market data suggests that the industry is undergoing what we consider to be a fundamental business transformation,” said Corr. “We believe that the industry is reaching a tipping point. Those who understand and leverage the transformation of the industry ‘get it’ and will likely succeed, while those who do not will likely exit the competitive landscape. The stakes are high and reliable market data is required to effectively compete.”

Research indicates the commercial printing industry is estimated to have 29,347 establishments that generate close to $64 billion in shipments. Most establishments are very small, and 51% have fewer than 5 employees. Only 3% of the establishments have over 100 employees.

This study consisted of a blend of desk research, an extensive survey, and in-depth personal interviews with leaders in the commercial printing market. The survey was completed by 516 respondents in a cross-section of company sizes within the commercial printing arena. Participants had to play a significant role in decisions related to purchasing equipment, software, and supplies.

This study is a continuation of InfoTrends/CAP Ventures’ coverage of the printing market. The data builds on previous studies, including The New Corporate Print Customer: A Profile of a Market in Transition, Corporate Print Services: The In-Plant Printing Opportunity, and the recently completed document entitled Global Print Production Workflow Market: Enabling Fundamental Business Change in Graphic Arts. In aggregate, the data from these studies provides a deep understanding of the print market, as well as its commonalities and differences.

The complete study is available immediately for purchase. The full report contains 126 pages of analysis, 783 pages of data tabs, 97 charts and tables, and 3 PowerPoint presentations. To learn more about the study or to make a purchase, please contact Alison Hipp at or via e-mail at 

InfoTrends/CAP Ventures is the leading worldwide market research and strategic consulting firm for the digital imaging and document solutions industry. We provide research, analysis, forecasts, and advice to help clients understand market trends, identify opportunities, and develop strategies to grow their businesses. Additional information about InfoTrends/CAP Ventures is available on the Web at

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