The recession that hit the U.S. in 2008 caused many industries to change their business formats in order to adapt and survive. The printing world was no different, and while there has been a decline in printing establishments, according to experts, those that remain are larger and have greater purchasing power.

Steve Bennett, vice president of digital finishing business for Esko, said in the October issue of Wide Format Imaging that the consolidation of print shops has lessened the amount of customers, but the ones that are left are more powerful, which has helped to push the industry forward.

“Based on the activity we see from some of our largest customers, it appears that this industry is faring quite well considering the current economic challenges,” Brian Phipps, general manager of Mutoh America said in the article. “The downturn in the economy that happened four years ago definitely affected the market negatively, but over the past few years we have seen some steady progress and healthy indicators within this group.”

A recent survey by InfoTrends found that dealers expect their wide format business to grow an average of 14.8 percent, while manufacturers are expecting a 6.2 percent increase.

Tim Greene, director of wide format at InfoTrends, told the source that he thinks that individuals who buy advertising recognize the value of that type of signage and graphics as an effective medium.

With that information in mind, companies that already specialize in wide format printing should invest in wide format laminators. That way, documents, photos or other images that are created can be properly protected. Whether an advertisement is a direct mailing or a poster, it will need to withstand multiple handlings and perhaps brave the outdoor elements.

Direct mailing campaigns have been more popular in recent years. This blog has previously discussed their mass amounts of success. As such, paper folding machines can ensure that a uniform fold happens every time when creating pamphlets.