The digital world has pretty much taken over our lives, whether it is smartphones, social media or commerce in general, we are fully reliant on digital communication and digital products. So, where does that leave print? Think about packaging products, we obviously need print to be on our products. Commercial signs also need to be printed, as does address label printing software, custom t shirt printing and car signage. All of these aspects need printing to be able to exist. It is these aspects that make us understand why printing is so important.
Although it’s clear to see how dominant the digital world has become in our lives, we can still see how printing is still important, but it is starting to shrink in its size. We will now take a look at some aspects of printing and how the digital era has affected it.
Social media is huge in every aspect of our life. It’s not just about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, it’s more about the way we use these platforms. Previously, we communicated through letter or by fax. Emails were used to communicate, but often they were printed and filed away. One of the biggest changes that we have seen is how emails can now be stored in cloud storage devices, which has meant that we are able to get rid of old paper files.
In business, one area that has changed is the need for printed documents which is slowly disappearing as everything has moved towards a digitised format. This means we are able to share huge amounts of information from one central hub. Another positive of this is that we are able to share the information immediately, rather than having to wait days for the post to arrive. This has, therefore, meant that business can be sped up. That said, printing is still important as there are certain documents that are required to be printed. For instance, this could be a legal document that requires an actual signature to prove that the document is genuine. Although many industries have gone digitised, and we are able to perform digital signatures, some sensitive information still requires a printed document.
As we have mentioned above, social media is a popular way of communicating. Again, this is all online and in a digitised format. This has changed the way we communicate as we no longer require letters or telegrams to communicate across the world. Another major advantage of using social media for communicating is that it is a free service. If you have family that live overseas, you can now contact them for free sign social media platforms. Although this communication is digitised and there is no hard copy of it the communication is still the same. As the generations move on, the need for letters has now diminished and this means printing in this area has reduced significantly.
Photography is one area where print will always take precedence over the digital era. Although we can print digitally, we still need print to be able to have hard copies of our images. We are fully aware that we can have masses of pictures on our devices that we have taken in various locations. However, when you want a hard copy to decorate your walls, a home printer is the only option. Imagine aluminium snap frames placed on a newly decorated wall with the pictures of your latest holiday inside them. This is far better than having pictures just stored on your digital device.
Photography, however, is one area where the digital era and print can work hand in hand. The positives of having a digital device are that you can take a multitude of pictures, good, bad or indifferent and then go home and pick and choose the ones you want to print at a later date. This is ideal because you’re able to have all the pictures you require, then pick the best of the best for your new frame on your wall.
As mentioned previously, when we talk about pictures that you may have taken on holiday, having them in hard copy print, so that you can put them on your walls/sideboards, is a great finish and provide a lovely memory. The digital era has taken this on board seen and you can now purchase screens whereby you can upload your pictures and see a nice slideshow of all your shots. This is in direct competition to a digital print or a print in general, because the images can be removed, changed and updated on a memory card. This is often seen as a modern way of producing or showing your images.
In the future, no doubt there will become a time where we have large picture frames with an LCD insert that will be able to show your pictures on a wall. Some of us will like this as it is a modern way of seeing our images. However, when you have a printed picture on a wall, it often offers a level of warmth that you can’t get from a digitised image. The type of property that you live in will often influence the type of pictures that you have. For example, if you live in a more traditional type of home, having an actual printed picture of your choice looks far better than having an LCD display screen.
It’s clear to see that we have covered the basics of the differences between print and the digital era. The digital era is here to stay and will make changes and continue to make changes to our lives. However, print also still has its place and will continue to be used as a medium so we can see images and signs as we have always done so in the past.