Markets & Applications

The Packaging, Label & Tag Market covers the printing of corrugated boxes, folding cartons, tubular cartons, flexible packaging, bags, cans, tags and labels. Commercial printers may also produce labels and tags.

The Wide-format and Super-wide-format Markets include flexible and rigid signage, advertising, graphics, large photo imaging, architectural textile decoration, hot-air balloon and sail decoration. Wide-format is generally defined as printing that is 0.6m print width to 2.5m print width. Super-wide, also called grand format, is defined as greater than 2.5m print width.

In-plant Printing cover printing facilities within companies or other organizations that print for the enterprise’s internal and operational use. In-house printing of architectural and engineering plans also falls under this category.

The Industrial Print Market includes decoration, marking and coding of manufactured items and printing that is part of the manufacturing process. In addition to product decoration and marking, it includes textile, garment and ceramic printing.

A subset of Industrial Print is the Functional Print Market including printed electronics, printed circuit boards (PCB), photovoltaic solar cells, displays, membrane switches, touch screens, batteries, environmental and biological sensors and diagnostic test kits. Some observers also place this market with the 3D Fabricating Market and others as a distinct market of its own.

The 3D Fabricating, Prototyping & Manufacturing Market includes rapid product and packaging prototyping; making medical prosthesis, custom hearing aids and implants; manipulating cells and constructing live organs; modeling for medical surgical planning, for architectural, aerospace and automotive designs, and for “lost wax” process and other methods for the casting of jewelry and dental prosthesis; manufacture of parts and items for art, clothing, jewelry and accessories, sporting goods, game pieces, toys, personal use items, machine tooling and machine parts, automotive and aerospace items and parts.

Coating Markets include applications for coatings for pre-print and decorating to enable print material adhesion and control ink flow out, and post-print and decorating for wear and abrasion resistance and either increasing or decreasing surface tension depending on the application. Coatings also cover the application of adhesives, resists, disinfectants, and non-stick materials for use coating applications such as cooking utensils, optical lenses and fibers, filters, papers, card, wood, plastics, metal, and electronic components.

The Commercial Print Market is the largest print market segment. It includes a wide variety of products including: business cards, stationery, direct mail, advertising & product brochures, posters, banners, forms. It involves quick printers, copy shops, forms houses, wide-format printers, and direct mail producers.

The Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) Market is sometimes grouped under Commercial Printing. Office desktop printing performs many of the same functions as Commercial Print, but also provides secretarial documents, photographic prints, coupons, receipts, flight boarding passes and prints of Internet supplied information.

The Publication Print Market covers the printing of books, newspapers, magazines, inserts, directories and catalogs. Typically, printing houses classified in this market segment primarily produce one or more publication types. Publication printers may produce some commercial print items and some commercial printers may also produce some publication materials.

The Security Printing Market is sometimes included with the Commercial Print Market, but typically involves specialized print methods for often governmental or otherwise for a focused customer base requiring strict controls and accounting. This market covers the printing of paper currency, passports, driver’s licenses, identity documents, lottery tickets and vouchers.


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