Is Print Dead?

Rinus Hoebeke, sales and marketing, Imprima Graphics Division, Toray

“Not at all,” said Rinus Hoebeke, sales and marketing, Imprima Graphics Division, Toray. Hoebeke pointed out that Toray, a Japanese company, was founded in 1926 and has traditionally taken a leading role in market trends.

“We do operate in a niche,” Hoebeke said. “However, what we see happening in the market reassures us that our technologies — and print in general — are an essential part of the mix for clever companies as they evolve to meet changing consumer demands. In fact, we continue to invest. For example, we have recently opened a new factory in the Czech Republic, and are creating a new research and development centre there. Our Japanese parent company is bullish on the opportunity for print and for our waterless plates in Europe.”

Toray also recently released the new Imprima family of waterless offset plates as a result of a change in attitude towards print and increased demand being seen across the printing world — largely due to environmental factors, including waste reduction and reduced water use, which these plates foster.

“There are, of course, print lines that are fading out, such as printing on CDs and DVDs,” Hoebeke said. “But there is still a great deal of vitality, so much so that we are seeing large digital houses buying printing firms to better add print to the mix!

“There is still a place for print in the newspaper world, especially for local newspapers, and there are many of them being published. As a company, we have a lot of confidence in our future and we truly believe in the potential of print,” Hoebeke concluded.