Realistically though, this isn’t far from where we have been. HTML code is very similar to printing’s pre-WYSIWYG displays. And if we learned it once, we can learn it again.
How hard is it? Well, \ means begin centering and \ means stop centering. \ means begin bold and \ means stop bold. Let me think, what code would we use for italics? Right, \ means begin italics and \ means end. Of course, there’s more to it than that, but you can see it’s just a new coding process which is far easier to learn than the old Linotype keyboard.
So again, why should we, as printers, be the target market of those providing Web development tools? We’re the guys now fulfilling this function. All that is required is for us to adopt some different tools.
Why aren’t we then, if that’s all it would take? Well, the providers of Web development tools see a pretty accurate picture of most of us. We are too stuck in print, too slow to change, and require too much hand-holding during the learning process. But I said most of us, not all of us.
Some printers see the transition to digital and Web-based applications being as simple as the transition from letterpress to offset. Many printers, in fact, provide Web services, including building websites, providing email broadcasting, and designing marketing campaigns for customers.
Make the Change
What should those of us who haven’t started the leap into the Web-based world do? We must devote time, energy, and resources to developing our skills to meet the challenge. We must seek out the information and training, and I don’t mean just direct your prepress person to learn about it. We, as owners, must become more familiar with everything from HTML codes to social media to email broadcasting and everything else.
One printer friend of mine recently objected to my emphasis on digital communications as a direction for printers. He said, “That’s the very thing that is killing the printing industry?” I demurred, for I see digital communications as soon to be the printing industry. And I’m not talking decades from now. I’m talking soon. Get with it!
If you’re interested in providing websites to your current customers and would like some guidance on how to price such an offering, check out my Website Price Advisory at www.crouser.com/website. It’s $75 and provides package rate guidance as well as hourly rates. Do you have a pricing question? Message me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try to give you an answer.
Tom Crouser is author of the newly released “Digital Printing Price Guide” as well as the “Crouser Guide to Small Press Printing” (www.crouser.com). He’s located at Crouser & Associates, Inc., 4710 Chimney Drive, Charleston, WV 25302, 304-965-7100. Follow his Small Business, Schmizness column on Facebook at tinyurl.com/smallbusinesss, friend him on Facebook, link to him on LinkedIn, and follow his tweets at www.twitter.com/tomcrouser. Read Tom’s blog at www.MyPrintResource.com.