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New technologies in print design

Updated: May 5, 2023

In recent years, print and pattern design have been changed by several new technologies.


Digital printing

It's no secret that digital printing is revolutionising the print industry. In digital printing, high-quality prints are made from digital files using computers and specialised printers. With the use of this technology, turnaround times and production efficiencies can be increased, and customisation and personalisation options broadened. Colours may be reproduced more faithfully with digital printing, which is particularly useful for printed products that must be colour-matched exactly.

In comparison to conventional offset printing, digital printing is often seen as the greener option.

Digital printing reduces waste since traditional printing processes utilise a lot of unnecessary materials (such as printing plates and paper) in the printing process. Digitised printing paves the way for mass customisation of printed goods, which can cut down on waste. With digital printing, you may, for instance, create tailored brochures for specific persons or groups, rather than sending out a generic set of brochures to everyone. Digital printing works well for small print runs, therefore it cuts down on surplus supplies. When compared to conventional printing methods, digital printing methods do not necessitate the use of excessive heat or energy.


3D printing

This technology (known as additive manufacturing) also shows promise as a greener option. Materials can be reused or recycled, and biodegradable materials can even be used, all thanks to the versatility of 3D printing. As a result, fewer raw materials will be used, and the production process will have less of an effect on the environment. Less waste is produced when using 3D printing as opposed to more conventional manufacturing processes like cutting or milling. By using 3D printing for prototypes and mockups, designers may try out various wallpaper design concepts before moving into full production. Consumers can select their preferred pattern, colour scheme, and other design elements for their wallpaper. Wall coverings with textured finishes, such as raised patterns or embossed graphics, can be printed using 3D printing technology. This can give wallpaper more depth and make for a more engaging aesthetic. 3D printing has the potential to make wallpaper in a continuous roll, simplifying set-up.


Thanks to 3D-printed goods produced locally, there are reduced transportation-related carbon emissions. 3D printing facilitates the production of unique items, which can cut down on surplus supplies and unnecessary waste. Although, it’s worth noting that 3D printing can have negative effects on the environment due to the amount of energy it uses and the possibility of air pollution that could result from it. It is vital to carefully analyse the environmental implications and take action to avoid any negative effects; yet, 3D printing has the potential to be a more sustainable production technology than older methods.

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Augmented reality

Another new technology that is finding its way into print design is augmented reality (AR). In augmented reality, users of a device like a smartphone or a tablet can superimpose digital content like photographs and movies onto their surroundings. Using augmented reality (AR), designers of print media like brochures and packaging can add interactive elements to their work. By scanning a QR code with a smartphone, users of an AR-enabled brochure, for instance, could be able to view a 3D representation of the product. Customers may have a more interesting and exciting time as a result. Augmented reality (AR) can also be utilised to make interactive exhibitions at trade shows, wherein visitors can scan a QR code to gain access to supplementary materials and virtual product demonstrations.


Whether or not employing augmented reality (AR) in print design is environmentally friendly depends on a number of aspects, such as the kind of materials used for the printed materials itself, the power requirements of the devices used to view the AR information, and the nature of the content itself. Consideration must also be given to the impact on battery life of devices used to access the AR material. Accessing AR material can have a negative effect on the environment, however, this can be mitigated by encouraging users to conserve energy by turning off their devices when not in use and switching to energy-efficient gadgets.

The content itself is the final factor to think about. By presenting interactive product demos or ingredient listings on packaging, for example, augmented reality (AR) can help minimise waste and contribute to sustainability by reducing the need for actual materials.


Artificial intelligence

Last but not least, artificial intelligence (AI) is another technology that is being employed in print design. Design components like colour, composition, and typography can be analysed by AI-powered technologies, and then used to inform new design iterations. This can be helpful for designers because it allows them to quickly brainstorm several potential solutions and then choose the best one. Existing designs can be analysed and improved with the use of AI. An AI model, for instance, may be taught to recognise the characteristics of a print ad campaign that is likely to be well received or to recommend improvements that would make an existing ad more successful. Similarly, artificial intelligence can be utilised to automate particular steps in the print design procedure. By converting drawings into the proper file format and checking that they conform to the necessary technical criteria, an AI system may automatically generate artwork that is ready to be printed, for instance.


The use of AI in print design generally increases productivity, which in turn decreases waste and resource usage. For instance, AI-assisted design tools can aid designers in making environmentally friendly designs that require less ink and paper, while AI-assisted production tools can aid printers in optimising the printing process to cut down on waste and energy consumption. As a whole, using AI in print design can speed up the design process, reduce wasted time, and free up designers to concentrate on more creative endeavours.

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In conclusion, digital printing, 3D printing, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence are all having significant effects on the print design industry. These advancements in technology are making it possible for print materials to have shorter turnaround times, higher levels of customisation and personalisation, and more interactive and engaging features. The world of print design is sure to see even more fascinating changes as these technologies advance. However, it is essential for companies and organisations to take into account the impact that their printing procedures have on the surrounding environment and to select environmentally friendly printing technologies wherever it is feasible to do so.


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