The November/December issue of L&NW puts the spotlight on digital printing, not that the industry needs to be directed toward what is clearly today's most buzz-worthy topic. Digital is everywhere, and it seems I've been writing about it nonstop since the summer while putting together pre-show coverage for Labelexpo. In Chicago, the technology's presence was never greater, with more digital printer and press vendors than ever before, another edition of the Inkjet Trail, and a Package Printing Workshop headlined by Xeikon.
I'm not saying I'm over digital, because that would be foolhardy. It's where we're heading, and where we've been heading. In this issue, in his piece titled "Digital Groundhog Day," Sean Skelly addresses the notion of our industry rehashing the digital printing topic year after year, and puts his spin on the reality of digital finally providing "a new day in label production."
Take the wine label market, for example. According to a survey taken by Wine Business Monthly, since 2010 the number of wineries digitally printing labels has steadily increased, from 38% of respondents to nearly 70% in 2014. And it should come as no surprise that the survey reports that digital is particularly popular among smaller wineries. That's an impressive leap in just four years time.
However, I'd like to pause a moment and review some other statistics. In September, when Gallus unveiled its new digital press, the company claimed that of all the world's self-adhesive labels printed annually, just 5% were printed digitally. I.T. Strategies, a market research firm that focuses on digital printing, reports just a...