It’s time to unlock the potential of printing again!

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The Union Home Ministry has recently issued the guidelines for ‘Unlock 4.0’, allowing significant relaxations for many industries. While cinema halls, swimming pools and other recreational spaces will remain closed, the government has permitted the reopening of open air theatres. It has also permitted upto 50% of teaching and non-teaching staff to return to schools in areas outside containment zones. Moreover, there are no restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movement of people and goods. However, international air travel, other than what is permitted by MHA, remains suspended.

Printing industry was significantly affected by lockdown and it will take some time before it regains its momentum. Needless to say, packaging was one segment which was able to sustain itself even during lockdown as people resorted to online shopping rather than going to retail stores. So, there was a need for more corrugated boxes for e-retailers like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. Besides, people are happier to buy packaged products as there are lesser chances of contamination with Coronavirus.

Since people were not going out much, most of the out-of-home media has either been taken down or has been damaged in this time. This will now need to be replaced, giving more business to the PSPs, large format printers and people dealing in outdoor graphics.

Digital is seeing an upward curve because print runs have shrunk and digital is the answer for such smaller print runs. Another new avenue for digital printers are customised face masks, floor graphics for social distancing and more.

Seeing the trends in the industry, commercial printers are diversifying into digital printing or packaging printing. This will give a boost to the machinery and equipment manufacturers as new machines will be installed.

The whole word is trying to cope with the new normal and printing industry is sure to come out as a winner as well.

Happy printing!

Sonal Khurana
sonal@smediagroup.in

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