Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dear Print, We Print Buyers Now Want an Open Marriage

Don’t get us wrong, Print. We still love you. We might look at web pages and tablets, but there’s nothing like holding you in our hands.

We still prefer the beauty and permanence of Print to the ephemeral nature of digital media. Geez, did you see how that photo came out on the iPad? It’s gorgeous. It makes me realize that page in the Print edition was a little out of regis – Oh, where was I?

It’s just that you alone can no longer fulfill all of our career needs. We can’t merely flirt with other media; we need the freedom to get fully involved with them.

Margie Dana, founder of Print Buyers International and the godmother of print buyers everywhere, has been encouraging us to branch out into other media. In this video, she even says, “You’re not leaving Print. It’s Print and, not Print or.”

See, even our godmother says a ménage a trois with other media is OK.

“I for one am 'retooling’ my abilities to go with the times,” commented a print buyer named Paul recently to the Print Production Professionals group on LinkedIn. “This way I can produce work for print and web. I've got twenty years of career left and don't want to be a dinosaur.”

He was responding to a recent article quoting forecaster Roman Hohol as saying that print media soon “will become less relevant and more expensive.” (As if that weren’t bad enough, Hohol did a webinar last week in which he said, “We haven’t yet felt the impact of tablets” on print demand and that tablets “will be as revolutionary in the way we consume media as Gutenberg’s printing press was more than 500 years ago.” Oy vey.)

You have taught us so much, like how to manage workflows and how to carry out customized manufacturing processes. It turns out that producing Web pages, apps, emails, and Facebook pages needs better workflows than the disorganized new-media people can concoct. And building digital content is a lot like doing customized manufacturing, except we’re producing virtual things rather than physical things.

So while our bosses may hate you, especially your costs and long timelines, they love what we’ve learned from you. And we’ll keep trying to show everyone how sexy and up to date you are by slipping in QR codes and other gimmicks.

Thanks for understanding, Print. By the way, could you scoot over a bit? We’ve invited some friends from other media to join us here in bed.


Margie Dana said...

LOL funny and I love it! I guess we're going back to the '60s of free love and sharing everything. Now, we must meet - it's only fair. I have an offer you dare not refuse. It's all totally professional, I assure you. Dear D.Ead, call me.

JR Shooter said...

This article is so very true. I am a print broker and it is amazing to see how quickly things have changed in the printing world.

People are no longer wanting to put their catalogues on paper, they are using tablets and email versions to show their customers.

However there will always be old school people and it is very true that they like to touch and feel the catalogue in their hand. Some people base who they do business on depending on how their catalogue looks and feels.

A good balance of both in this new age is very important!

Thanks very much for the information.

Marc Zazeela said...


I always enjoy your perspective and your humor.


Jessica said...

I like this. I totally agree, there will always be a demand for print.