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Tactile and Dimensional Printing Market Ongoing Trends and Recent Developments

The global market for tactile printing reached nearly $1.1 billion in 2016. This market is estimated to reach $1.9 billion in 2022 from $1.2 billion in 2017 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.3% for 2017-2022. 

Report Scope:

This report considers commercial- and industrial-scale tactile printing equipment, as relevant to applications that include printing of packages, labels, currency, security documents and accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, including both braille and tactile graphics. For a detailed list of segments and breakdowns included in the scope of this report, please refer to the bullet lists below, near the end of this chapter. This report reviews and considers relevant and applicable technologies, references regulations to the extent that they drive or interfere with tactile printing market development, summarizes market developments, identifies industry trends and their influence on markets, provides a summary of relevant industry organizations and their function, provides a detailed patent analysis and provides insights and key information to support business- and investment-related strategy decisions. Note that this report does not consider small-scale consumer products such as handheld or manual embossing presses. Estimated values used are based on manufacturers’ total revenues. Projected and forecasted revenue values are in constant U.S. dollars, unadjusted for inflation.

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Report Includes:

– 56 data tables and 6 additional tables
– An overview of the global market for tactile printing
– Analyses of global market trends, with data from 2016, estimates for 2017, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2022
– Analyses of the market by application, by technology type, by end users, and by region.
– Discussion of different tactile printing technologies, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each
– Distribution of patent activity relating to tactile printing
– Current and upcoming government regulations relating to both security and accessibility for the visually impaired
– Profiles of companies involved or potentially involved in tactile printing



Conflicting trends in the global printing industry underscore a market with strong opportunities for moderate and even strong growth in select opportunity segments, while enduring contraction in longstanding traditional print markets. Tactile (also dimensional) print markets maintain a unique position in the industry, in that they operate explicitly within the printing industry’s key growth applications: package printing, label making, security and secure documentation and accessibility for the visually impaired. The result is that, while global print equipment markets have staggered along with annual growth rates of around 2% to 4% overall, and traditional analog print markets have faltered, tactile printing is growing rapidly; in select subsegments and regions, the technology is even reaching doubledigit growth.

In addition to applications, several significant trends in today’s printing and underlying consumer markets are also driving interest and markets in tactile printing. In the global packaging industry, packaging in developed economies is becoming more diverse: case in point, the number of stock keeping units (SKUs) has been growing year over year, as marketers seek to diversify their product lines to appeal to an increasingly selective consumer base. This is especially true in food, where most of the global packaging and label-making print markets lie. Packaging and labels represent the first experience that a consumer has with a given product. University-level research completed to date has shown, several times over, that unconventional, unique and out-of-the-ordinary packaging can grab a consumer’s attention. Tactile packaging and label elements fit this category well: high-cost embossing has been used for decades to generate tactile packaging effects. Today, with the advent of ultraviolet (UV) inks and their incorporation into gravure, flexographic, screen and inkjet printing, the cost of adding tactile elements to packaging is dropping sharply. An increasingly robust market for UV inkjet printers, in particular, is contributing to these trends.

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Other niche markets are also developing for tactile printing. Accessibility for the blind and visually impaired is a presently a key growth market. This segment is being driven by increasing activism on the part of the visually impaired, as they advocate for better accessibility measures, including tactile features on currency, identification, secure documents, prescription medications and various other applications. Tactile images, greatly facilitated by the use of UV printers, provide accessible graphics. Tactile elements also enhance the security of banknotes, as well as identification cards and other important documents, helping to provide difficult-to-replicate security features for those end products.

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The result of these developments is a market that is ripe for growth, and that is expected to advance rapidly in the coming years, substantially outpacing market growth in the printing market as a whole. Case in point, as shown in the table and figure below, the global tactile printing market will have grown from nearly $1.1 billion in 2016 to almost $1.2 billion in 2017. By 2022, global markets will reach $1.9 billion, equivalent to a 2017 through 2022 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.3%. Packaging and label printing will comprise the majority of the market, and will grow at an accelerated rate in comparison with security and accessibility applications.


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