Is Print Dead? Why the Question Just Won’t Die
Just when I thought it was safe to put December behind me—since the Mayan calendar proved to be wrong, and the holidays went off without too much stress—the next round of cliff dwellers and doom-and-gloomers emerged.
Have we reached the end of the print era?
At first, I dismissed the online discussion surrounding this question with a shoulder shrug and a “Really? Are we still talking about this?” attitude.
There were comments on how print works together with digital:
“I think it is because of those mobile apps that print design is still viable and valuable. They complement each other and drive creativity,” asserted Lorraine.
And one of my favorites: “Print what matters and put the rest on the Internet.”
Ninety more heated comments later, the discussion is still in full swing. Clearly, what might seem passé to you and me obviously continues to agitate the hearts and minds of designers and print buyers.
Here are two key aspects from the discussion that I think we should take to heart:
1) Educate your clients.
While the 90+ commenters agreed that print was here to stay, they also mentioned over and over again a need for education in all printed-related activities.
“I think that students coming out of school have the technical skills,” noted Carmit. “…I think schools should always teach you the basic theory from where you can grow and wear different hats once you are in the field.”
“We all love print,” agreed Barry, “but how many print reps do you know now vs. 20 years ago? When is the last time a paper rep called on you?”
And, of course, Barry has a point. We don’t live in a perfect world—if there ever was such a thing. Since there are so few paper reps today, it’s up to you and me to share our knowledge and passion for print and paper with newcomers to our industry. We should make sure that our clients understand print and its enormous potential.