Print is not dead

Posters in a city centerOur culture tends to have knee-jerk reactions. As eBooks have been on the rise, many people say the printed book will die. It is very true that paper mills are closing and that physical book sales are way down. But I predict that the printed page will continue for many years.

Moving from physical artifacts to digital artifacts is a major trend. It is so much cheaper to produce an eBook than to print a paper book. Physical books may become a luxury item. Ironically, companies that do very small print runs are on the rise. People still value something they can hold and smell.

Maybe posters will all turn digital, kind of like Times Square or Piccadilly Circus. A problem: the shoot-from-the-hip aspect is much harder to do digitally. (Have you tried to hire a hacker lately? I’d guess that it would be expensive to get someone to hack into a Times Square billboard.) People with some glue and 50 printed sheets can plaster a city center pretty quickly.

So don’t rule out the printed page – just yet.


You must stand out

This tower of public notices stands in downtown Boulder, Colorado – the home of a university with more than 30,000 students. Most of the posters are for live music events.

Did you notice that all of them look more or less the same?

How hard would it be to design a poster with catchy full-color photo surrounded by a significantly large white border ? Or maybe a 98% black poster with just a tiny bit of white type in the center? Then just put one on top of about every fifth standard poster. Those would stand out.

Takeaway: Let’s think outside the box, my friends.