Tech pundits are never at a loss for bold, sweeping predictions about the future. One common refrain is that print media will soon go the way of the cassette player and the VCR, replaced forever by digital content consumed on laptops, smart phones and tablets. Companies that are foolish enough to still invest in ink and paper-based advertising will also go extinct, overrun by more visionary competitors that are more willing to change with the times.
“Not So Fast!”
Those who make these claims do so with an air of arrogant finality, as if the switch to all-digital media is so obvious that only an intellectually challenged dimwit would fail to accept its inevitability. With all due respect to the pundits, however, the final chapter of this particular story has not yet been written. In fact, many astute observers believe that print media will play a vital role in mass communications for the next several decades at least. Here’s why they say that:
Human nature, not technology, ultimately determines the shape of the future. For example, consider that, in the 1960s, futurists were predicting that traditional telephones would soon disappear, replaced by video consoles that allowed callers to see each other face-to-face. Yet in 2017 webcams remain a niche product, not the mainstay of daily communications. The reason for this is simple; People don’t always look their best, and most of us don’t want to be seen before we put on our makeup or after we finish a grueling workout. We’ll stick with good old fashioned voice to voice exchanges.
Human beings are tactile creatures that enjoy using all their senses, not just vision or hearing. Printed media acknowledges this fact, giving the public something to touch, to hold, even to smell. It provides a multi-sensory experience that a digital screen simply doesn’t replicate. That’s why printed books still sell in the hundreds of millions of copies each year. They offer a weight, a heft, a substance that digital images simply can’t match. In short, they provide a better experience for the user. So long as this remains the case, e-books will never replace printed material.
The very nature of mobile devices constrains their size and, consequently, the amount of material they can display at one time. This is not a temporary technological dilemma. It’s a fundamental constraint on digital media’s ability to supplant printed matter for a host of applications. Also, modern publishing techniques gives designers the ability to use a wider, richer mix of fonts, tones and illustrations than ever before, enabling print to more than hold its own against pixels.
The Bottom Line
Of course, none of this means that you should abandon your digital communications efforts. However, it does mean you should continue to invest in printed messages to enjoy maximum ROI. That’s where AlphaGraphics enters into the picture. Contact us today to arrange your initial consultation. When you do, ask us about our new Michigan Avenue location, which offers unparalleled convenience and minimum turnaround times for our clients.