The news is full of stories about e-books and the shift from print to digital. While I support that shift and am a heavy consumer of digital content, I still love print for certain things. Here are a few of them:
I like print for handy, domain-specific data and tips. Take a look at the print items below, for example. They are from various collections I’ve kept over the years from my days at two of the historic “Big Eight” consulting divisions.
The first image is four, two-sided cards from Arthur Andersen (now Accenture). They were laminated to last and sized to fit in a purse or suit coat pocket. The examples shown are for effective presentations, effective written communications, management tips, etc.
The next image is a set of nearly a dozen similar pocket cards from Coopers & Lybrand (now part of IBM Global Services). Each one was a guide – a checklist, really – for different aspects of microcomputer services, from design to testing of systems and everything in between. Unlike the Andersen cards, these would fold out.
Speaking of IBM, the next image is a couple of IBM pocket cards that I used for quickly troubleshooting code in Assembler, JCL, or COBOL. I’ll admit, they are a little bit like the slide-rule equivalent of paper. But, man, once you got proficient with these things, they were instant reference tools.
In every case, these print materials are like flash cards for business – info rich, easy to carry, quick to search, and not reliant on a power or network source.
I also like print for “right brain” publications. Go to the magazine rack and pick up a magazine on architecture, design, or other specialty subjects. A couple of my favorites are below.
The first is from a multi-content magazine of poetry, short stories, criticism, and other writing and art, named Fishes. And, yes, that is a fish hook tacked to the cover. You can only find that kind of innovation with a print publication.
The other example is the most awesome vendor-sponsored newsletter I ever received. The four issues I got in the mail are below. Look at the amazing diversity in cover and interior typefaces and artwork.
Here’s another example of an interior spread – look at the page layout and the full bleed for the large image from Leonardo da Vinci on the left.
- a personalized welcome and thankyou letter from our company’s chairman to the customer,
- business cards of our client service team assigned to the customer,
- pre-posted business reply post-cards that could be mailed to our company at no charge to the customer indicating issues going poorly or well,
The other image, below, shows examples of various print pieces produced for internal, company purposes – all focused on mission / vision / values, and important contacts. They are all business card sized and could easily fit in a pocket or notebook.
Reading for extended periods on an ipad (or similar device) in bed prior to going to bed has a significant effect on melatonin production and other key neurotransmitters and biochemistry…. drastically impacting the the immune system and your ability to have restorative sleep.
There is a huge difference between reading a regular book which reflects low ambient light into the eyes compared to direct observation of an intensely illuminated surface… bottom line .. this trend will lead to a broad epidemic of auto immune disorder in the coming years…
While you can get books on CD or DVD and tape, many library collections remain limited compared to print and e-book content almost universally comes with a cost, for anything other than the classics that are available for free download.
So there you have it…at least four instances why I think print is good. Will we ever have a paperless society? To me, that’s like asking will we ever have a garden-free society or a bicycle-free society. Yes, we could, but why would we? Let me know what you think.