Scientific meeting printers and graphic artists of printing technology

Croatian Academy of Engineering, Center for Graphical Engineering

Dr. Anastasios E. Politis
Research Scientist Graphic Arts and Media
Athens TEI and Hellenic Open University

Dr. Diana Tsimi
Professor, Faculty of Graphic Arts Technology, Athens TEI

Paper Abstract:
“Evaluation of the changes in graphic industry of this century”

The general media domain

The traditional graphic arts and media sector is under the influence of various factors, among them technological developments both internally and in the general media industry landscape. Companies are committed to operate and perform in a complex environment, characterized by the existence of new production tools and processes as well as the presence of new electronic media.

The media industry is oriented towards the «multiple media and cross-media» environments, and the production process is being fully digitalized through the application of various platforms and devices.

The graphic arts – namely the printing industry has traditionally put information on to paper products, whether to inform or for pleasure. The main challenge for the future is to ensure the successful integration of the printing industry into the global 'communication' information processing and distribution.

Further progress and developments in graphic arts and the media are also dependent on parallel developments in other related sectors. Potentially important factors include the development of electronic media, the formation of new structures for production workflows and management, the working environment and the changes caused by other sectors such as information technology.

Structural changes of the graphic arts and media industry

Today, the graphic arts and media sector is coping with structural changes caused by rapid technological developments. These developments affect not only production but also the structure of the enterprises, the products, and their market position. There is a noticeable move and necessity for companies, from being manufacturing oriented to being service oriented.

One of the main characteristics of the changes in this sector is the wide application of electronic processing environments and the processing of not only printed but also electronic media, such as websites and multimedia applications. Digital printing is another technology influencing and accelerating the structural changes currently taking place within the sector and, consequently, the companies and the personnel involved reorganization strategies have been widely implemented in an attempt to adapt the sector to the new conditions. This was initially characterized by investment in new equipment and systems, followed by significant changes in production workflow.

The future of the print media oriented industry

A considerable number of studies reveal that media usage and choice of media is far more complex than can be expected at first sight. To a large extent, the relationships and the interactions between these factors are in many cases very poorly investigated As a result, an essential part of the knowledge needed to predict the future of the communications media is lacking.

However, for the foreseeable future, the print media will retain their importance. According to many experts «Paper, by its nature, has its value and a close relationship with people and it is difficult to replace it with a nonmaterial medium», no matter that we are witnessing the introduction of reading devices such as Kindle and iPad.

The traditional graphic arts and media industry, oriented in print media, should deal with both internal and external factors and developments that influence the orientation and further welfare of the industry, its companies and most of all the people employed within the sector.

Such factors can be the new ways for printing such as printed electronics, transpromo and the rising of commercial digital printing, the new platforms for processing and distributing information such as the further development on the internet, the social media and the new ways of distributing information, and the new technologies applied such as Premedia, Cross-media publishing, content management and the related technologies.

All these factors need to be addressed in order to create a more clear viewpoint regarding the further development of the print media- graphic arts sector.

Dr. Anastasios E. Politis, Dr. Diana Tsimi

26 February 2011


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