Trend in Commercial Printing Industry Sales

By Andrew Paparozzi
In March 11, 2013

NAPL estimates that total commercial printing industry sales (all sources, not just ink on paper) rose 0.6% in 2012 to $78.0 billion—the first increase since 2007. (See table below.) However, despite the increase, sales remain more than 20.0% below their level prior to the Great Recession. Sales have fallen more than 22.0% since peaking at $101.1 billion in 2000. This year NAPL expects sales to rise 1.5% to 2.5%, at best, still leaving total sales significantly below their pre-recession levels.

Of course, sales data on the industry at large don’t tell the whole story. Many companies are growing significantly above the average, and others faring worse. More than half (55.1%) of the companies we survey grew in 2012, with over one-third (34.2%) growing by 5.0% or more—almost one in five (17.7%) recorded sales increases of 10.0% or more. Thus, there are companies that are succeeding. In fact, more than one in four (27.4%) of NAPL State of the Industry participants have surpassed their pre-recession sales levels.

But even a distribution of sales data doesn’t tell the whole story. Prior to the late 1990s, lithography and the accompanying preparatory and finishing services accounted for nearly all of the commercial printing industry’s revenue. As the industry continues to be redefined, the composition of revenue has changed dramatically. We’ll discuss the composition of revenue in a subsequent post, and we’ll be discussing what companies have done and are planning to do in order to achieve their success in upcoming reports in the State of Industry Series, which is being proudly sponsored by KBA.

Andy Paparozzi                      Joe Vincenzino

Andrew Paparozzi

Epicomm's Andrew Paparozzi, Vice President/Chief Economist, is well-known for his accurate and thoughtful discussions on the economy and US commercial printing industry. A foremost author and speaker on economic business trends in the printing industry, Paparozzi heads Epicomm's Printing Economic Research Center.


  1. Hi Andrew and Joe,

    I would like to appreciate your post in which you have mentioned latest trends about the commercial printing. I will expect you share some more important things related to the printing by which every commercial printers can improve their business.

  2. Thanks for sharing the interesting data.

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