Though inkjet has been a hot topic since 2008 (remember the ‘inkjet’ drupa?), it is hard to underestimate the continuing impact inkjet is having across all areas of the graphic arts. I think 2013 marks an interesting turning point. Inkjet is everywhere from document printing to labels & packaging to decorative to functional and 3D printing.
Gartner Hype Cycle
3D printing had to be one of the most talked about topics of 2013 and jetting technologies are the key behind many 3D printing implementations (though in this case they are jetting materials rather than inks). That being said, in my opinion 3D printing has reached what Gartner likes to call the ‘Peak of Inflated Expectations’ and others have described as ‘Irrational Exuberance.’ The way some people talk about 3D printing you’d think that before long you’ll be 3D printing your beer complete with the bottle (with a label on the outside and a cap on top).
Last year around this time I reviewed all of the corporate greeting cards I received over the holiday season. I’m at it again this year and cover such diverse topics as colored signatures; recycled paper, FSC, and other green initiatives; text & image personalization; QR codes; printing on the envelope; metallics & pearlescents; special effects like dimensional printing; and non-card items such as calendars, menus, photo books. I also rant about electronic greeting cards that come with insincere tag lines like: “In our appreciation for the environment, we chose to send you our holiday wishes electronically.” Baloney! Face it, you’re just lazy and trying to hide your cheapness in an eco-green candy coating. If you really care, send me a physical card next year. My address is Jim Hamilton, 97 Libbey Industrial Parkway, Suite 300, Weymouth, Massachusetts 02189, USA.