Is Print Design Dead? Print and Rock & Roll, Two Things That Will Never Die

September 9, 2013 / Design /

Step Away From the Screen

How many hours a day do you think you spend staring at a screen? Let’s start adding it all up. Where do you get your news in the morning? Over your morning coffee, or maybe even before you get out of bed, you probably turn on CNN to get the top stories, scroll through Twitter to get the latest headlines, or use one of your favorite apps on your iPad. Then you head off to work, check any traffic problems on your phone (even though you definitely never use your phone and drive at the same time). You spend 8 plus hours at the office in front of your computer, checking your Facebook newsfeed, Twitter feed, and newest Instagram pictures every once in a while for a break, and then head back home for an ounce of relaxation in front of the television.

You’ve now spent over 12 hours in front of a screen, even when you’re trying to take a break from the daily grind. But when is the last time you actually took the time to break away from the screen and disengage? Do you read books, magazines, or newspapers anymore or is it all through the Kindle and iPad? Walk away from the iPad. Yes, you heard me, put down the device. Print articles and ads have now become the way for people to give their eyes and brains much needed time off.

Print Therapy

Think of it like this: when you get a massage, don’t you want to turn everything off in the world and really take time to enjoy it? That’s what a print ad can become. You subconsciously become so engrossed in what you’re reading because you feel like you’re taking a break from the go-go-go of the world. With that being said, the ads in the newspaper or magazine don’t end up feeling like the overwhelming pop-ups experienced all day on the Internet. These ads are now an extension of your mini-vacation from work. That massage was just taken up a level, because this printer has now become your new best friend!

Still Can’t Let Go?

In doing some brainstorming around the office for this post, we started to throw around the idea of giving the customer what they want while the ad agency still gets what they see fit. We love the work we do with print ads, but there will always be those people that want a little something more. The younger generations always need a little more sparkle to make an advertisement actually catch their attention, so how about combining print and digital in a new way?

Our illustrations and print media have displayed some of our best work and the past, but how can we keep the momentum going in the digital age? Just ask our Art Director, Andrew. In the middle of our brainstorming session, Andrew whips out his phone to show us one of the coolest apps I’ve ever seen. Now being as that I’ve grown up in the generation of iPhones and social media overload, you’d think I’d seen it all—but my OCD tendencies have kept my home screen free of anything I deem useless. Andrew shows us an Augmented Reality application that can transform a simple print ad into a 3D animation with the touch of a button. Below I’ve embedded a video to show how cool this really is and what it could do to help bring print back from the dead.

Augmented Reality: Where Print and Digital Reach the Happy Medium

Using an app like this can take a beautiful landscape for a gardening advertisement and transform it from a one-dimensional picture to a live look at nature. Imagine the trees are now blowing in the wind, butterflies are flying through the flowers, and you’ve actually created major visual stimulation for the potential customer. Stimulation is the key to actually moving the customer in the direction of making a purchase. If your augmented reality advertisement let’s them see the product actually being used, that takes away any guessing.

So how does this affect the print advertising world? Everyone gets what they want and you’re actually applying your advertising strategy to a wide array of generations and customers. The hardworking individuals who stare at a computer screen all day and need that separation still have the eye-catching print ad in the magazine and the tech junkies get to amplify your ad to an animated reality. Are we giving into the digital world? Maybe a little bit, but in order for the application to be used, that viewer has to see the print ad in the first place. Print design is definitely not dead, but we do need to change the way it’s used.