• January 15, 2021

The Pandemic impact in the Graphic Arts industry

The unexpected current world events changed every aspect of the business world with a severe economic impact.

As Prof. Middleton, Executive Director of SEEC, explained, these events are known as Black Swans, and when these unexpected and random occurrences happen, decisions must be based on reliable data and supported by trusted information sources.

We all want to know the future, but we can't. We can model and predict some things to an extent, but not the Black Swan events. He argues that we should examine the historical records and consider uncertainty seriously because it is the way of the world.

He stresses that predictions are proven to be unreliable and inaccurate and insist on fact-checking and avoiding hindsight bias. We should look outside the organization to identify the changes and discover what threatens the business globally, as rapid changes are worldwide.

To manage in a world of Black Swans and VUCA, Prof. Middleton recommends running risk management scenarios

Prof. Middleton emphasizes to promote a long-term vision yet adaptable in the changing world. To manage in a world of Black Swans and VUCA, he recommends running risk management scenarios based on accumulated knowledge that helps planning within volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity caused by these unexpected events.

DRUPA Postponed until 2024

We shall wait until 2024 to view and learn about the latest technological developments anticipated to be showcased in April last year at DRUPA 2020. Organizers decided to cancel and postpone this exhibition until this year to later set a new date due to the global pandemic's unexpected scope.

DRUPA is the world's largest and most influential graphic arts industry Exhibition globally, and it has, without interruptions, been held periodically every four or five years at the Messe in Dusseldorf, Germany, for the last seventy years. This graphic industry Fair attracted millions of visitors to view live demonstrations of machinery that included digital and web printing equipment, consumables, and supporting gear for all industry segments.

This industry gathering will probably forever change as large corporations such as Heidelberg Druckmaschinen, Koenig & Bauer, Manroland, Bobst, Kodak, and Xerox announced their attendance cancellations last year and, in turn, embarked on smaller and targeted live demonstrations and introduce virtual media exhibitions. 

We ought to find reliable technical solutions focusing only on products and services that customers want

Meanwhile, some industry sectors have been affected more than others due to the unprecedented economic slowdown and long-term recovery. More than ever, all efforts are focused on efficiency, process optimization and waste reduction. There is a growing trend of considering used and refurbished equipment and upgrades before decisions on large capital investment to boost printing businesses. 

These challenges demand a complete review and overhaul of current practices. Success will depend on finding reliable technical solutions focusing on products and services that customers want, and that would also resolve environmental issues by reducing their ecological footprint.


During the COVID-19 world pandemic, this article intended to reach the graphic arts industry company's owners, decision-makers, professionals, or anyone undecided or doubtful about the best options for future capital investment in printing equipment technologies.