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Issue 886 – March 1, 2017

Whenever I hear that printing industry consolidation is necessary and good, I wonder to which industry people are referring. Printing is the ultimate free market, the archetype ‘have a go’ sector where the vast bulk of print is produced by a very few big companies, with the rest farmed out to a large number of small, even micro businesses, mostly of less than five people.  This is where the majority of printing jobs, as opposed to tonnage, is generated. It’s a vibrant, difficult sector in rapid transition from craft traditions towards a digital communications future.

While there may be very valid reasons why the big producers should seek efficiencies in mergers, the health of the printing industry also requires a vibrant, populated marketplace of small producers where service, convenience and competition are attracting customers. Let’s be wary of becoming too production focused.

Welcome to your latest issue of Print21, the premier news and information service for the printing industry across Australia and New Zealand.

Patrick Howard
Publishing Editor