Thanks, Digital Age, for Making Print Better

Modern print owes a debt of gratitude to digital, according to Francis McMahon, SVP of the Business Imaging Solutions Group at Canon U.S.A.

“With the ‘digital noise’ that clouds our everyday lives, businesses and individuals alike are being forced to find ways to let their voice be heard,” McMahon writes in Printing Impressions. “This can be seen in creative new print applications, especially in the marketing field, which has forced print professionals out of their comfort zones.

“In 2018, it is anticipated that the graphics arts focus of print will continue to grow with technology companies continuing to provide new solutions for their customers to produce vibrant, attention-grabbing displays,” he continues.

With these new solutions come new opportunities to help educate people on the value of print in the digital age.

“To better inform customers, many print professionals have launched initiatives and workgroups to promote the value of print, which will ideally share with brands and agencies the new opportunities and applications available through modern printing technology,” McMahon explains.

In addition to this new surge of creativity, he cites POD as another advantage of the digital age, explaining that POD “allows publishing companies to print as needed, helping get the product in the customer’s hands without having to wait for the next edition or future shipments.”

All of this means that the end user gets more out of the deal. They get faster access to more creative solutions, from brands that are constantly striving to stay relevant and amplify their message.

Print also can thank digital for the rise in content marketing, which has opened up entirely new channels to communicate directly with consumers. Print holds a new role now; it’s not the breaker of news, but rather serves to expand the conversation in ways that digital can’t.

So what’s the takeaway for print? At the end of the day, consumers still reach for print as a companion to their digital consumption, finding in-depth reporting and long-form storytelling they aren’t interested in consuming online.

Digital is not the enemy here, as we’ve said before. As publishers, designers and editors, we need to understand this new juxtaposition of print and use the printed page to its best advantage – with creative design, insightful content and an imaginative approach to each and every piece.