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Graphispag 2019 defines printing with more digitalisation, personalization and design


The flagship Trade fair for the Spanish graphic industry returns with technology and innovative printed applications

Graphispag will return to the Gran Via venue from 26 to 29 March to showcase digitalisation, customisation and graphic design as the chief pillars of the transformation of the graphic industry and the visual communication sector. Fira de Barcelonas emblematic graphic arts Trade fair will bring together innovations in software, printing technologies and finishes, as well as media and consumables for the creation of all kinds of printed products. A new feature this year will be the incorporation of new hands-on demo areas to reveal the creative potential of printing and its complementary nature, along with its connection with other forms of digital communication.

Organised by Fira de Barcelona in partnership with Graphispack Asociación, Graphispag 2019 is the flagship event for the graphic industry and the visual communication sector in Spain. The fair, now in its fifteenth year, will bring together 200 direct exhibitors representing some 380 brands and occupying 9,600m2 of Hall 2 of the Gran Via exhibition venue.

Receiving strong sectoral support, Graphispag will reaffirm its status as the Spanish trade fair that integrates all forms of printing: traditional and contemporary, as well as highly advanced ones that usher in new business models for the graphic arts sector. Leading brands such as HP, Roland DG, Epson, Heidelberg España, Konica Minolta, Digidelta, Agfa, Soficat-Xerox, Jusa, OPQ Systems-Horizon, Emiliano Martin, Koenig&Bauer Lauvic, Esko, Ipagsa and Unión Papelera will support Graphispag; this year, in addition to the Spanish exhibitors, there will be others from Germany, Belgium, China, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Finland and Sweden.

"Graphispag defines todays printing, open to all kinds of user sectors. Thanks to digital technology and new media, there are no limits; we can print using any format or surface and were seeing increasing personalisation for the creation of unique environments and products", explains Graphispag president Xavier Armengou.

Transformational axes

Graphispag 2019 will focus on three common axes transforming the different specialities of the graphic industry which are set to feature in the trade fairs areas and on its activity schedule. This involves digitalisation (productive, organisational, communicative and commercial); the practically unlimited personalisation of any object, material or surface; and design, which is currently ubiquitous in graphic and visual communication.

The first major area visitors will see as the enter will be Graphispag Experience; everyone will have to pass through it and it will enable them to see, touch and interact with different techniques that evoke the past, situate the present and give a foretaste of the future of visual communication. For example, there will be a reproduction of Gutenbergs printing press in operation, signage demonstrations, artisanal calligraphy sessions, the creation of neon signs, examples of 3D and virtual reality in an experience geared towards interior designers, lightweight and flexible papers and media that light up and which can be integrated into advertisements, packaging and publications and a selection of conductive inks.

The second area will be Graphispag Process, which will demonstrate comprehensive graphic production processes in which the equipment and machinery required to start up two production lines (one for packaging printing and the other for large-format printing) will be in operation.

Advanced printing will find its place in Graphispag Print Innovation, an area coordinated by the 3Neo Platform that will feature demonstrations of functional printing, printed electronics, bioprinting and 3D printing. There will also be talks and presentations and the companies using these technologies in their activities will meet professionals interested in implementing them in sectors such as packaging and visual communication.

Graphispag will also have an area devoted to personalisation, where visitors will be able to learn how to create unique objects by means of digital printing. At the same time, a space assigned to the wrapping, i.e. the use of vinyl to wrap vehicles and interior decoration will be launched, with daily demonstrations by the GAWI (the Wrapping Applicators Association of Iberia, initials in Spanish).

Talks and workshops

The Graphispag Talks programme will include more than 40 talks and panel discussions involving experts that supply machinery and media, graphic service companies and users of printed products. Sustainability, business development and productivity management involving greater digitalisation will be the main themes this year. There will also be talks on the latest graphic technology, inks, media, functional printing, 3D, printing for packaging, retail, textiles and publishing, as well as on the role of women in entrepreneurship. An opening talk will be held in which different sectoral studies will be pooled to analyse the current situation of the graphic industry in Spain.

Meanwhile, Graphispag 2019 will host Grada&CongrésGràfic, a new event organised in conjunction with the Association of Graphic Designers of Catalonia that will include talks, workshops and an exhibition area on disciplines which use images as their form of expression and represent the origin of the graphic product. It will be attended by around twenty experts in design, infographics, illustration, concept art, packaging, urban sketching and typography, among other specialities. Julius Wiedermann, editor of Taschen, Félix Beltrán, creator of the iconic image of Che Guevara, and Fernando Baptista, a graphic designer at National Geographic, will be just some of the speakers.

Graphispag Village will be the networking space designed for the different professionals in the graphic chain, enabling them to meet partners and colleagues or simply expand their networks of contacts in the field of graphic and visual communication. It will also host meetings between manufacturers, printers with specific investment projects, influencers and end customers from different sectors directly invited by the organization through the buyer programme.

The graphic industry in Spain

According to data provided by the INE, the graphic sector in Spain is made up of 15,674 companies that employ 93,000 people, with a turnover of over 14,000 million Euros. It is a highly disparate sector with a predominance of SMEs and micro-SMEs. There has been a restructuring and concentration process in recent years. With 22.3% of all companies, Catalonia leads the graphic communication sector in Spain, followed closely by the Community of Madrid (21.9%) and then by Andalusia (11.2%), the Valencian Community (10.95%), the Basque Country (5.3%) and Galicia (4.9%).

The economic crisis and technological changes have had a major impact on the production and size of the graphic sector. The sector has seen an upturn in its turnover since 2016, driven by activities related to the printing of packaging and labels, and an improvement in the demand for catalogues and printed advertising products and the publishing industry. However, the graphic sector is still undergoing a transformation, aiming to increase its value with its products, adding new applications to its business that go beyond paper and printing using any medium or material in a personalized manner, thus promoting graphic and visual communication.