The European printing industry belongs to the 'Forest-Based Industry' chain. It comprises some 132,000 companies and 853,000 employees. The turnover of the industry amounts to €105 billion. The sector consists of mainly small enterprises - 85% of them employ fewer than 20 people.
The printing industry has a long and proud history in Europe, ever since the German goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1439. The main challenge for the future is to ensure the successful integration of the printing industry into the global communications system.
As a user of paper and board, the printing industry can be seen as an important downstream component in the 'wood cluster', which comprises the forest industry, paper-making, printing, packaging, graphical communication and publishing industries.
However, the printing industry is also an important representative of the media and information industries. It has changed over the past decade, in particular by moving from analogue processes to digital workflows in which content is received and processed in electronic form. Offering variable and personalised print is becoming a crucial part of many businesses, and an increasing number of printers today possess digital printing equipment.