Coloring Corporate Communications
While color is predominantly restricted to sales and marketing materials today, it will gradually be integrated into internal documents as well.
Color represents one of the largest growth areas for in-plants in the foreseeable future. In the four years from 1997 to 2001, annual impressions from production process color printing systems (25 ppm and faster) are predicted to skyrocket from 1.03 billion to 10.08 billion, according to the "U. S. Print On Demand Market Forecast 1996-2001" issued by CAP Ventures last year.
Offering in-house color reproduction services is an excellent way to capitalize on this dizzying growth, while providing customers with one of the most effective communication tools available. This color explosion could not come at a better time, as electronic distribution, distributed printing and shorter run lengths have combined to tighten many in-plants' monthly volumes.
Much of this color work will be produced on demand to allow frequent updates and more timely documents. Of the $19.43 billion process color market represented by corporations in a 1997 CAP Ventures survey of print buyers in large corporations, almost $4 billion would benefit from print on demand, while an additional $950 million would benefit from shorter runs and customization (see chart).
One New York law firm has been producing marketing materials in-house for several years. Today these materials are not only produced on demand, but are customized to contain descriptions specific to practice areas and geographic regions. The firm's manager of marketing support says that supplying unneeded information clutters communication with the prospect.
While color today is predominantly restricted to sales and marketing materials, color will gradually be integrated into internal documents as well. That's already happening at Stratus Computer of Marlborough, Mass. The worldwide supplier of computer systems and services is already producing human resources brochures, employee education schedules, compensation booklets and covers for internal reports of all types on a color copier-printer, according to Linda Phelps, a designer and desktop publisher in the firm's reprographics department.