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Mixam is a technology start-up with a leading printing platform that makes customizable products for a global audience. We make print easy, accessible, and affordable with competitive pricing, exceptional materials and professional customer service. Our printing solutions combine expert knowledge with the latest technology to give individuals and businesses unparalleled online shopping experiences.

José Salgado

There is still a certain amount of confusion when people talk about mass customization. Not just because it is difficult to pronounce, but also because there seems to be a lack of understanding. But this is understandable, because mass customization is basically a paradox: individual production with the efficiency of mass production.


Recently I had the opportunity to present my drupa analysis at the Intergraf "Print Matters" conference in Bucharest, and I noticed a number of offbeat comments on various online channels. As a "drupa veteran" (my first visit was in 1990), I'll add my two cents. But before anyone here thinks this is going to be a "general reckoning": absolutely not. I love drupa! But the trade fair, which has set the pace for the industry for many decades, will soon - in my view - need a pacemaker itself.


In recent decades, images have become such a significant factor that practically all media can now be described as visual media. Images and graphics have traditionally played a central role in print media, but digital channels have also become indispensable outside of print. As images have become more important, the significance of text has diminished. Figures show that only 20% of newspaper readers read more than the first paragraph of an article.


What will people remember about this drupa? It was clearly the ‘higher-faster-further drupa’! It wasn't AI, sustainability, nanography, robotics or any other trendy topic that dominated drupa 2024 – it was simply about the fact that the technologies that were already on the market 8 years ago have now really grown up. And got faster. And bigger – in terms of the sheet sizes.


大家好! What would the global economy be without China? What would drupa be without China? 1,646 exhibitors are represented in Düsseldorf in 2024 – 417 of them are from China, with a total of 26,000 m2 of exhibition space. And: around 25% of all visitors to the print mega-event in Düsseldorf come from China. Incredible.


Software! It's all about software! Without software, nothing works in a modern printing company, absolutely nothing. From the MIS (known as an ERP system by professionals), to the shop and web-to-print application, to the workflow. Anyone who still relies on the famous ‘sneaker workflow’ is either in a museum or on the last island of the blessed.


Without doubt, drupa is the world's leading trade fair for the printing industry. And there are quite a few entrepreneurs who ask themselves: what should I buy? Well, I am a consultant and meet one or two customers here. So I am no stranger to the question ‘Bernd, what should I buy?’ and I am happy to answer it, as follows:


Yesterday morning I spoke to a young, dedicated printer from Bavaria. His expectations of drupa are high. Because: "Artificial intelligence will change everything. Everything." That's what he said, waved and disappeared into the hustle and bustle of the exhibition halls. By the afternoon, his opinion had already changed.