Pressing On: Print Really Is Everywhere

We who work in printing know how massive our industry still is—even after all the technological changes and consolidation, which are ongoing. Print is a $640 billion industry, contends cloud-based e-commerce developer Keen Systems, meaning it dwarfs both online advertising ($47 billion) and the music industry ($67 billion).

Would you believe it if someone told you that print is 18 times bigger than the video game industry ($33 billion)? It is even larger than the $432 billion auto industry. What’s more, “the original disruptive technology” we know as print drives another $3.8 trillion in related services, according to Keen. (Incidentally, the San Mateo, CA-based firm believes that more than 50 percent of all print orders will originate online by 2017.)

Yet people outside of the printing industry don’t think much about what it is that printers do. Until, that is, you point out the obvious:

• Did you see a street sign on your way to work today? Print.

• How about a billboard? Print.

• Your cereal box at breakfast was printed.

• The signage at the fast-food restaurant where you had lunch: Somebody printed that, too.

• Those summer concert tickets … you get the idea.

It’s a fun little game to play with outsiders, who usually respond with something like, “Oh, yeah, I guess I never really thought about that.”

In reality, a world without our beloved print medium is difficult to fathom. So, despite graphic design claims that white space is good, I leave you with too much of what can be a good thing—fodder for thought and the worst nightmare for a writer with a blocked thought process: the blank page:


Raising Awareness

A few months ago, launched the ”Print Is Everywhere” social-media campaign to help illustrate the impact of print in our everyday lives. We’ve posted images of label-less products and even a stark, Jimmy John’s restaurant with no signage.

Responses has been positive. For example, SourceOneDigital tweeted on Twitter, “PrintIsEverywhere, indeed! Print brings companies, brands, and events to life! Like and Share if you agree!”

We know we’re preaching to the choir, but inquiring minds want to know what print means to you. Hashtag #PrintIsEverywhere with your response!

Your ink/toner-on-paper customers also might be interested in Domtar’s “Paper because” website: