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Key Digital Print Industry Trends for 2024

As we enter 2024, the digital printing industry is at a crucial point, and technology is a big factor in determining where it goes next. In this article we’ll explore the key trends that are set to define the digital print landscape in the coming year, giving print professionals an advantage as they plan their business development.

1. Hyper-Personalisation Takes Centre Stage

In the digital age, consumers have grown accustomed to personalised experiences, and the print industry is no exception. In 2024, hyper-personalisation is emerging as a dominant trend. This goes beyond simply adding a recipient's name; it involves tailoring every aspect of the product to the customer’s needs.

Consumers may demand a choice of materials – from plastic, to wood, to metal – and the print technology needs to be capable of delivering this range. Clients seeking personalised stationery or tradeshow giveaways are less likely to shop around to fulfil their requirements with several cheaper vendors – they would rather spend a little more to deal with a provider who can deliver everything they need.

Advances in eCommerce solutions let customers customise their own products in visual builder apps and place their order in a matter of minutes. They reasonably expect quick processing and delivery of their custom products, so print providers must rely on software solutions which seamlessly integrate with their hardware, and workflows which are reliable and easy to manage.

All these factors are informing the capabilities offered by print technology developers and we can expect to see everything from software updates to entirely new solutions emerging from this space over the next 12 months.

A personalised wine bottle label produced with a digital UV printer/cutter.
A personalised wine bottle label produced with a digital UV printer/cutter.

2. Sustainability Continues to Gain Momentum

The global focus on sustainability is reshaping industries across the board, and the digital print sector is no exception. In 2024, sustainability is not just a buzzword but a critical consideration for businesses and consumers alike. Print companies are increasingly adopting eco-friendly practices, from utilising recycled media and environmentally friendly inks to implementing energy-efficient production processes.

Print technology providers are developing their latest solutions with greater energy efficiency in mind, including features which limit the devices’ consumption when they are not in use. As regulations around chemicals become stricter, ink formulations are becoming more advanced, and we will see cleaner, water-based inks which meet the requirements of certification bodies like GREENGUARD. Even print software has a part to play in making the print industry more sustainable – simple things like nesting functionality help users make the most of the print area, reducing the volume of waste material.

The demand for sustainable print materials is rising, with consumers actively seeking products that align with their environmental values. In previous years, sustainable media alternatives were premium products, so it has been challenging to maintain healthy margins whilst also providing a competitive offering for the end customer. As this demand increases, sustainable, recycled media is now available at a much more attractive price point, making it a more realistic proposition.

Of course, companies that embrace sustainability contribute to a healthier planet but, they also position themselves favourably in the eyes of an environmentally conscious consumer base - a factor which will grow in importance throughout 2024.

3. Diversification is Essential for Sustained Growth

As economic factors continue to compound and add complexity to business planning, more print business owners are realising that product diversity is no longer optional. Those who rely solely on the same revenue streams of bygone years will likely discover a very challenging 2024.

The good news is that diversifying the product offering needn’t require a large investment in new equipment. For example, technology is rapidly evolving in the areas of sustainable materials mentioned above, making it easier to develop commercially viable sustainable alternatives to common print products. Small adaptations like this create a point of difference and can help open new markets, generating more potential for profit.

There will still be print companies who will look to make greater investments in capabilities throughout 2024. Prompted by rising operating costs, these business owners will be seeking hardware that is cheaper to run and built on more robust platforms than their existing equipment, thereby mitigating any loss of income from potential unplanned downtime.

Many of these professionals will also take the opportunity to investigate more versatile solutions which can help unlock new applications and new sources of profit. Other business owners will look for more efficient solutions for services they already provide. For example, those who traditionally relied on roll-to-roll eco-solvent to produce rigid graphics boards may consider moving to a UV flatbed solution, letting them print directly to the boards, and cutting out the lamination and mounting steps.

Attendees at a print hardware tradeshow searching for their next investments.
Attendees at a print hardware tradeshow searching for their next investments.

4. In-house VS Outsource

Every year sees print professionals adapting their workflow as demand changes and 2024 will be no different. As with previous years, we will see print companies evaluate their reliance on outsourced work compared with the comparative profit gains and quality control of in- house production.

Typically, these consist of smaller businesses ready to upgrade to a larger size. Throughout 2023, they may have seen demand for print products rise to a rate which they cannot fulfil using their existing equipment. While outsourcing to more capable companies will have proven a vital and helpful next step, these blossoming businesses will, in 2024, examine the benefits of investing in in-house capabilities.

Whether they choose to make the leap in 2024 remains to be seen – typically these business owners spend anywhere from 9-18 months researching new equipment. However, we can expect to meet these professionals at any of the upcoming print tradeshows in the coming year.

5. Automation Optimises Workflows

As advances in AI and software development continue to materialise, print technology providers have a new arsenal of tools to enhance their new products. Several products now exist which let users generate artwork using simple text prompts and even commonly used solutions like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator now include some AI image generation functionality. Today’s RIP platforms already provide users with multiple ways to manage their workflows and release the full potential of their equipment, with variable data printing and custom job queuing only two examples.

In 2024, print professionals can take full advantage of new tools and features which ultimately enhance productivity and increase profitability. Specific functionality will become available which automates the set-up for printing directly to multiple objects. Mobile monitoring will see increased usage allowing business owners to refine their production at a granular level, making significant gains in productivity by implementing incremental improvements.

We will also see more companies taking advantage of the improved UX of more modern systems, accelerating onboarding for new employees. These advancements also allow users to save presets and effectively automate routine tasks, reducing them to a few clicks.


As we step into 2024, the digital print industry is undergoing a transformative journey marked by innovation, sustainability, and enhanced user experiences.

The trends discussed above paint a picture of an industry that is dynamic, responsive, and attuned to the evolving needs of businesses and consumers alike. Embracing these trends will not only position print businesses at the forefront of technological advancements but also give them the knowledge to adapt and grow in an ever-changing world.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your print business in 2024, talk to a Roland DG expert who will be happy to help.

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