Print’s Not Dead

Mitchell Wagner – Art Director – IRONCLAD Marketing

Mitchell Wagner

With social media and electronic communication getting stronger each day, some feel the age of print is coming to an end. I am not one of these people – repeat, NOT one of these people. Don’t get me wrong, electronic is great. It’s something I use, enjoy and try to learn more about everyday. But I strongly feel there is still a place for print, whether it’s reading material such as magazines, books or newspapers or marketing materials like print ads and direct mail pieces.

I admit, hearing the skeptics talk about the death of print scared me at first. And the evidence to support the theory is certainly there. Newspapers and magazines are shutting their doors, and new reading tablets like Kindle and iPad seem to be popping up monthly. But I’m still confident we won’t be seeing an electronic only world anytime soon.

Now, let me qualify up front, I am trained in print design. Does this make me biased? I don’t think so. Even outside of this, I enjoy the idea of a printed item, actually having a tangible piece to hold and look at. I prefer reading from a book rather than my computer screen. And I know my one-year old son loves to see full pages of colorful pictures in a book as he follows along with a story, rather than hear me simply read from an electronic tablet. Now, this  is just my personal opinion. But I do have more factual reasons for why print is far from dead. In fact, I think we’re about to see a resurgence of print.

So what am I using as my reasoning? The simple fact that things seem to come full circle. A few years ago, we saw bellbottoms and tunics from the 70s come back into style. Right now, the 80s are reappearing, as kids are wearing neon colors, leggings and Ray-Bans again. TV is trying to bring back some old shows, like the short-lived Knight Rider, and more recently, Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place and Hawaii Five-O. We see movies that were popular decades ago being re-made as film studios attempt to cash in on the idea a second time. They are all trying something previously successful on a new audience. And for the most part, it’s working.

In marketing we’re always looking to find a new creative way to reach people. Currently, electronic is changing the way we do things and an entire generation is growing up “electronic”. But soon enough, I think print will again reign supreme as the “new” way to reach people.

If you still don’t agree with my theory, I have one final piece of solid proof that print isn’t dead. The next time you’re in a waiting room or the lobby of any business office, take a moment to glance around. I bet money you’ll see comfortable chairs and a coffee table – complete with a large stack of magazines.

What are your thoughts? Do you think we are facing the end of an era? Or like me, do you think print will rise from the ashes?