Printing Industry Center Releases New Research about U.S. Printing Industry Demographics

Report co-authored by RIT professor emeritus Frank Romano

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A. Sue Weisler

Frank Romano

A newly released research monograph from the Printing Industry Center at Rochester Institute of Technology discusses definitions for the U.S. printing industry and the “print universe.”

Frank Romano, professor emeritus, RIT’s School of Print Media, and David Broudy, who graduated from RIT in 2000 with a master’s degree in graphic arts-systems, are the co-authors of the monograph, “An Investigation into Printing Industry Demographics.”

The report investigates the challenges in developing a meaningful set of criteria for defining and quantifying the printing industry, including the multiple sources of information available. The result is a snapshot of what the printing industry and the print universe are and how its demographics might be structured.

Key findings include:

  • The number of printing industry firms has been contracting since 1995, and the authors project that it will be close to 50 percent of its size in 2015 as compared with 1995.
  • Digital printing has allowed the expansion of the printing industry into new categories of users.
  • Electronic substitution will continue to reduce the volume of print and this will result in fewer printers needed to produce the reduced print volume. The authors forecast the number of printing firms in the U.S. will be about 28,000 in 2020.

The report is available for download as a PDF from

About the Printing Industry Center at RIT

The Printing Industry Center is a joint program of RIT’s School of Print Media in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences and RIT’s E. Philip Saunders College of Business, and was established in 2001 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as one of the Sloan Industry Centers. The Center is dedicated to the study of major business environment influences in the printing industry brought on by new technologies and societal changes, creating a forum for printing companies and associations worldwide to access a neutral platform for the dissemination of knowledge, to share ideas and to build the partnerships needed to sustain growth and profitability in a rapidly changing market. For more information, please visit