Every New Year brings with it new hopes, new plans and a promise not to repeat old mistakes. So also with 2012. The industry looks forward to this year with fresh hope of breaking the shackles of the slowdown.

The most looked forward-to event of 2012 is Drupa, as was evident from the turnout at its Dubai roadshow. With about 2000 visitors from the UAE at the 2008 show, organisers expect the number to exceed those in the last edition. The growing reach of digital, increasing inkjet presence and hybrid printing will be some of the future trends of the print industry as will be evident from the exhibitors displaying their wares. One omnipresent feature to be expected everywhere will be green printing: sustainability. In all these ways, Drupa 2012 looks to be a path breaking event.

Regionally, the looked forward-to graphics event is the Sign and Graphics Imaging (SGI) expo to be held in the end of January and the print awards to be hosted by the Printing & Publishing Group.

The printer profiled in this issue, Vipin Ramachandran of Asiatic Printing Press strongly favours the formation of a printers' association. Professionally run trade associations are known to further the progress of its members. Industry leaders need to come forward to establish such a forum.

This edition of PrintWeek MEA also features a curtain raiser special supplement on the SGI with interviews and opinions of the participants.