New Print Campaign Is Fatally Flawed — McIlroy

GENTLE READER: I can only say that if you’re getting sick and tired of my naysaying of the printing industry, think about how I feel. I look back on my Printing Impressions columns over the last few years, and I realize that you could easily get the idea that there’s nothing I’d like better than to see the printing industry disappear. I keep harping about the industry’s failure to get with the program: to recognize the changes that are taking place in the way that media is proffered in our society.

I keep harping about the economic challenges that the printing industry faces and, I know, I do it in a way that suggests I hold out little hope.

I’ve been putting off writing this column for a couple of weeks now, and not for the usual reasons of laziness and distraction. I’ve been putting it off because I’ve got another harangue in the works here that I know a lot of people are going to read as excessively negative.

How can I prove it to you? I love print. I was raised on it. My father was a published author. The first job I remember him holding was as a PR rep for Encyclopedia Britannica. I remember vividly the day when his second novel was published, and his 10 author’s copies showed up at our home. The excitement we shared was all about print.

I started in the ink-on-paper business as a bookseller. I worked for a decade as a book publisher. I’ve authored or co-authored more than a dozen books—all of them issued with ink on paper. I’ve been consulting to printers and the graphic arts industry for 15 years.

But, let me state it bluntly: I feel embarrassed shame at the PIA/GATF’s new campaign: “Print: The Original Information Technology.” I’ll avoid rhetoric and explain my reasons carefully.

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