The future of commercial print

An interview with Ricoh’s Gavin Jordan-Smith

Summary

There’s been a lot of exciting growth, change and transformation in the production print industry over the last few years, and we can’t wait to see what’s next. Ahead of our participation at Printing United 2023, we sat down to talk with Gavin Jordan-Smith, SVP/GM and Head Global Sales Strategy Division for Ricoh Graphic Communications about what he sees for the future of commercial printing.

Read time: 3 minutes

Q. What’s trending in the world of print today?

A. The technology landscape has opened up so many opportunities in the industry. And in a lot of ways, we’re seeing what’s old become new again thanks to all the advancements that have been made. There’s been a significant shift to inkjet technology, and it’s gaining momentum across a variety of applications — not just in traditional commercial print but also in in-plant and CRD. Even in the textile market, direct-to-garment (DTG) and direct-to-fabric (DTF) are experiencing significant growth thanks to the power of inkjet technologies, which now enable faster production, customization and unique design capabilities.

Additionally, with some of the more advanced analytics and workflow technologies in market today, we’re seeing a lot of our customers enable hyper-personalization in their business. It’s a trend that I think will continue to grow and expand as runs get shorter, printers move from offset to digital and smart automation becomes more widely adopted. It will be the frontier of where AI intersects with print and digital marketing — and Ricoh stands ready to meet printers there, with a fleet of innovative production solutions already harnessing the power of information and predictive analytics.

Q. How do you see the impact of digital fatigue shaping the future of print?

A. In many ways, digital fatigue has revitalized the market and appetite for printed materials — but in a way that complements rather than eliminates a consumer’s digital experience. That’s why the future is really going to be about making print an extension of digital marketing.

And what I mean by that is bringing people together with the impact of a printed piece — one that’s been digitally designed and optimized — and using advanced technologies to redirect engagement back to the metaverse. We’re doing some really exciting things with augmented reality that are helping bring print to life and helping marketers create more immersive and integrated campaigns.

Q. How is Ricoh supporting print providers as they move into the future?

A. We’re focused on delivering smarter, more intelligent services and solutions that elevate the entire value chain of a printed piece and extend its lifecycle — partnering with printers to see more than just dots on the page. Whether it’s in the composition, production workflow or finishing stage of print materials, we are supporting constant innovation. That’s what our clients require to grow their revenue streams, tap into new markets and applications, and ultimately, help their customers leave behind their own legacy of innovation — whatever that looks like for them.

Q. What is the most exciting aspect of print, as you look to the future?

A. You can probably tell from my answers, but at the end of the day, I’m most excited about the innovations we’re seeing clients bring to the table. Gone are the days when OEMs were alone in tech labs, designing the next big thing in print. Today, our clients and their customers are part of that journey of innovation. We’re facing the challenges together and combining our efforts in a beautiful way to create new products, services and solutions that maximize efficiencies and growth for everyone. As a result, we’re seeing new partnerships with global printers and brands to help grow the possibilities of digital print technology with the power of innovation.

Ultimately, the future we are creating is one based on co-innovation, and building a collective, common goal around print and its ability to stand out.

headshot-Gavin-Jordan-Smith.jpg
Gavin Jordan-Smith is the Senior Vice President/General Manager and Head of the Global Sales Strategy Division in Ricoh’s Graphic Communications (RGC) business. But don’t let the title fool you – he’s all about the customer, all the time. From helping printers transform into full-service providers to championing co-innovated product development, he is dedicated to building bridges between problems and solutions, and passionately leading a global team of front-line innovators. 

Gavin  Jordan-Smith

Senior Vice President/General Manager and Head of the Global Sales Strategy Division

Ricoh USA

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