Last updateMon, 16 May 2022 12pm

Covid-19 shock heralds a decade of digitisation and disruption for global print industry latest Smithers market data reveals

Worth a total of $743.4 billion in 2020, the global print industry will see this as a liminal year that will redefine its future across the 2020s. The coronavirus crisis will act to accelerate trends already evident in the market – a diminishing importance of publications and graphics work pushing print businesses towards packaging print, and the implementation of smarter, more digitised, short-run printing.

Thermal print segment poised to rebound from 6.2% Covid drop latest Smithers analysis shows

The global demand for thermal print equipment and consumables (direct thermal, thermal transfer, and dye diffusion thermal transfer) will reach $34.11 billion in 2020 according to the projection in the latest dedicated Smithers study – The Future of Thermal Printing to 2025.

Global 3D Printing Industry Revenue to Surge 155% and Hit $40.8bn Value by 2024

Global 3D Printing Industry Revenue to Surge 155% and Hit $40.8bn Value by 2024

Constantly evolving value chains, market innovations, and cutting-edge technology developments are pushing 3D printing into the mainstream market. This type of production has surged in recent years and a growing number of businesses use 3D printing solutions, allowing them speed and flexibility while reducing costs.

The global 3D printing industry revenue is expected to continue its surge 155% hitting $40.8bn in value by 2024, according to data gathered by LearnBonds.

Prototype and Proof of Concept Main Reasons for Using 3D Printers

3D printing enables the production of complex shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods, which is why it is widely used for small production runs, prototyping, small business, and educational use.

In 2020, the global 3D printing industry is expected to be worth $16bn, revealed Wohlers Associates Annual Report on the State of 3D Printing. In the next two years, the market revenue is forecast to touch $25.5bn. Statistics indicate the strong upward trend is set to continue in the following years, with the market revenue growing by a compound annual growth rate of 26.4% between 2020 and 2024.

The State of 3D Printing Report by Sculpteo also revealed that in 2020, the most popular use case of 3D printing was prototyping among 68% of those asked, a 34% rise compared to 2017 figures. Another 59% of companies and businesses used the technology for proof of concept purposes, 36% more than three years ago.


With a 40% share of the total labeling market, pressure-sensitive labels are still the leading label format around the world, as the sixth edition of AWA Alexander Watson Associates’ new AWAreness™ Report: Global Pressure-sensitive Label Market 2020 confirms. Not only that -- in 2019, pressure-sensitive labeling enjoyed 3.3% growth.

Print Industry in Times of COVID-19 - Heidelberg Presents Print Media Industry Climate Report

Current capacity utilization of printing companies in China has recovered significantly
Packaging and label segment very stable in the corona period
Data from Heidelberg Cloud provides trends on the current situation in the print industry
Weekly update under www.heidelberg.com/PMI-climate

Printers adapting to challenging market conditions by successfully launching new products and services

This year’s drupa Spotlight report, Strategic choices in a competitive and converging marketplace, will be published in May. In a survey (conducted before the coronavirus outbreak) over 500 printers and almost 200 suppliers described the challenges and successes of launching new products and services. For many in the industry, planning their recovery from the coronavirus recession may well necessitate such launches, so lessons must be drawn on how best to do so.

Further downside risk to sales forecast but liquidity broadly stronger than early 2008

Our recent automotive sector rating actions reflected the breadth and severity of the impact that the coronavirus outbreak is having on automotive demand. In late March, we placed the ratings of most US, Asian and European automakers and parts suppliers on review for downgrade and downgraded a number of them as well. We also cut our 2020 forecast for global auto unit sales, which we now believe will plunge 14% this year (see “Automotive Manufacturing and Parts Suppliers – Global: Outlook update: Decline in auto sales to accelerate on expanding coronavirus impact”). There is a significant risk that we will lower our sales projection again if it appears that the accelerating spread of the pandemic in the US and Europe will keep lockdowns and “shelter in place” mandates in place well beyond Easter.

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