Analogue vs. digital a hot topic for Label&Print 2016

Label&Print 2016, taking place on 24-25 February at Birmingham’s NEC, will feature a live debate, asking the question, “Can analogue print survive in a digital world?”

The issue is certainly a relevant one, with the digital technology’s ever-increasing influence, along with shorter product life cycles, a decline in average run lengths and a demand for faster time to market, all pointing towards digital dominance.

The debate will feature an expert panel including Andy Abbott, general manager at Dantex UK; John Bambery, chairman at BPIF Labels; Douglas Hutt, global packaging manager at SAB Miller and Marian Stefani, CEO at IPIA.

PrintWeek’s contributing editor, Jo Francis, who will chair the debate, commented, “Different methods of digital printing have opened up so many new possibilities for packaging printers and their clients. However, conventional printing equipment has not been left behind in some sort of analogue dark age. I am expecting a lively debate.”

John Bambery said, “The debate on whether ‘analogue’ print can survive misses the point that putting ink on paper is the key to a successful industry. High quality printing using ‘analogue’ technology is here to stay as it will be some considerable time, if ever, that digital production will ever be as competitive for the long runs that are required by the media, commercial and packaging sectors.”

Douglas Hutt added, “I strongly believe that digital has created a robust and valuable platform that brands can profit from. Analogue print continues to be a stalwart for high volume/high quality printing, whereas digital has demonstrated success within the label sector.

“However, technology gaps need to be closed before a truly ‘digital pack’ can be realised. Digitally printed secondary/tertiary packaging cannot yet match the speed and quality of analogue. So, digital and analogue will continue to evolve their symbiotic relationship in the short and medium term.”

The debate will take place on Thursday 25, at 11:30 am in the Label&Print theatre.