Printing is not dead, it is different

Yesterday I responded to someone on LinkedIN  who asked  “What do you think the future of production print is?” I shared my thoughts, which depending on how you read it, could be a glass half full / half empty scenario.

Let me clearly state “As an industry printing is alive and well and has a future.”  I am banking on it as still have two children at home (one being eight) and need to get them through college.

Two factors that will define the opportunity are:  technology and the changes in human behavior that technology drives.  What the industry is facing is no different than when the invention of the printing press occurred. Bibles were “copied” longhand by monks prior to the invention of the printing press.

In the 1450’s Johann Gensfleisch (Guttenberg’s birth name) invented the movable type
printing press and the first book reportedly  printed was the Latin bible in Mainz Germany. Other dialects were not printed until the early 1500’s due to politics. For more info visit:

So what when on?  I am sure the monks felt their “careers” in printing was over. Some may have embraced the” technology” and learn how to run a press. The rest, simply did something else, like make wine. Other dialects were delayed due to politics, a form of human behavior, in those days anyway. Technology and human behavior drove the mass distribution of the bible.

We all have the same option today, embrace the new technology, understand it and create new uses and applications. Or not.  There is a future. In my next blog posting I will go into this in more detail. Hint: Are you a visualist?


2 replies
  1. Tony Hodgson
    Tony Hodgson says:

    Reminds me of a quote by Marshall McLuhan from his book The Gutenberg Galaxy – written in 1962!

    “We are today as far into the electric age as the Elizabethans had advanced into the typographical and mechanical age. And we are experiencing the same confusions and indecisions which they had felt when living simultaneously in two contrasted forms of society and experience.”

    One is a society brought up on the experience of mass broadcasting through print and TV. The other is experiencing completely new forms of one-to-one and many-to-many “electric” communications like tweets, blogs, texting and email. In the UK, where I am, we also happen to be living this in another Elizabethan age – Elizabeth 2.0.

    Looking forward to finding out what a “visualist” is. I like your new blog.

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