The WPCF was officially founded in 2004 as a result of an initiative supported by the world’s major transnational and national printing associations. The founding members of the WPCF were Conlatingraf, representing South America; Intergraf, representing European interests; PIA, the Printing Industries of America for the North American continent; and national associations from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, and South Africa.

In an industry characterised the world over by a large number of small and medium-sized businesses, there was little scope for a truly world-wide congresses of printers until the age of the jumbo-jet and relatively cheap travel. Prior to 1978, the congresses were held every 3 and 4 years in Europe by the WPCF’s member association Intergraf, which represents the European printing industry. Inspired by the success of the 1978 congress in Singapore, succeeding World Print Congresses were convened in the United States, Hong Kong, Brazil, India, Australia and China, with the number of participants ranging from hundreds to thousands.