Whether something promotes print or not isn’t necessarily our concern but it is always a plus when we find a great video that does.
The video embedded at the bottom of this blog post is very unique because it addresses a shift in our culture with a conclusion that is not quite clear; what will be the future of print?
The video, entitled Epilogue: The Future of Print, is not the short and punchy viral video we are used to seeing online.
Instead it is a long and thoughtful narrative that features people who know books the best; publishers, printers and book sellers. Interviews were conducted with professionals active in the Toronto print community.
Some of the most intriguing aspects of this piece, which was produced by film students, are the practical realizations about how our world is changing in terms of the way we consume information, how we feel about content delivery devices and how we preserve our culture.
Unless you are combing through garage sales or searching on eBay, probably not. He raises a valid point about the data we create, use and share every day.
Think of the content you type in a word processing program.
Think of the thousands of pictures you have stored on your digital camera or cell phone. What about the books you have stored on an eReader or some other device?
Will you be able to access this data 10 years from now if you leave it as-is? How about 20 years from now? If you had data stored on a floppy disk, chances are it is no longer accessible.
Technology changes so quickly and it hasn’t yet figured out a way to become permanent. For example the first iPhone came out in 2007, just four years ago. Today the original is no longer supported by Apple and has trouble keeping up on ultra-fast 3 and 4G networks.
You can download data almost anywhere you are without having to make a special trip to a store. You can carry hundreds of books on the same device which saves space and is great for traveling.
Prices for electronic versions of books are often less than their printed counterparts and a variety of publications like books, magazines or journals can all be read on the same device.
These and other reasons account for the explosion in popularity of these devices in recent years along with a drop in cost.
At the end of this film there is an important theme conveyed about the future of print. Despite gloom and doom in the media about the death of the book or print in general, books have not and will not be obliterated by new technology.
Just like with other technological advances, new tools help change the way we do things but they do not always supplant others. Radio was once the prime medium through which people received mass live or pre-recorded messages. Television took this spot but we found a place for radio which remains a viable industry.
At 22 minutes, the video embedded below is long yet the message it delivers is one of hope for the print industry with a little bit of a reality check.
The earliest known attempt at printing dates back as far as 30,000 years and were wall drawings known as pictographs. Ever since then printing has been all about change and innovation. The print industry is involved in yet another stage of change, not extinction.