Are freelance graphic designers reducing the number of small local printers?
Is there a connection between the rise in number of freelance graphic designers and the reducing number of small local printers? ( Five staff or less. )
In my own county of Pembrokeshire I have noticed that over the last few years the number of printing firms has more than halved whilst at the same time more and more people are setting themselves up as Graphic Designers. Designers who naturally send their work to large trade printing firms out of there area.
The small local printing firm cannot compete with these big companies economies of scale so is ultimately forced out of business. Indeed many can only compete by offering printing and design as a complete package. My own firm Modern Print, is in this situation. If we were only producing jobs that were supplied with artwork, the profit margins are so small and the volumes to little to make a good living.
Yes this may well be a natural evolution in the industry and if the local printers were more efficient or dynamic they would survive. However I do find it intriguing that at a time when the number of printers in my community is declining dramatically the number of Graphic Designers working freelance are increasing at an even faster rate.
I am in the fortunate position of being a health survivor in this changing market. What do you think? Is there a link?
Modern Print, Printing and Graphic Design in Pembrokeshire. www.modernprint.co.uk