Last night I attended the Dallas Advertising League’s Print-a-palooza which is an annual event focused on print advertising issues. The highlight of the event was a panel led by printer John Barry with ColorDynamics. The topic was “A World Without Print.” The panel was comprised of Ed Bardwell, a graphics/web designer; Jason Dove, an executive from the Dallas Morning News; Russell Viers, a software trainer and consultant; and Byron Racki, a marketing exec from Neenah Paper.
What was fascinating were the discussions which ensued once the topic was introduced. Everyone agreed that print is not dead but then proceeded to provide all the reasons why it’s in decline (dying?). I could see that some of the individuals who were part of the print design or production community were not very comfortable with what they were hearing. Especially when several of the tekkie’s started talking about the power of social media as a channel and the potential power of software and hardware to make everyone a “printer.”
If you are part of the print community, I challenge you to start listening to individuals/companies who see “connectivity” as the future of communication. It is the future. More importantly start looking for the opportunities in this changing visual communications world. There will be plenty — but you can not just think of yourself as a printer. Otherwise, as one young lady in the audience said, “you are just providing a commodity.”