The Digital Revolution – 20 Years Young
Written by Jeff Jacobson
President, Global Graphic Communications Operations, Xerox Corporation
It is amazing to think 20 years have passed since the introduction of digital print and yet, it is difficult to imagine our industry without it. Clearly digital has transformed print in ways no one could have expected in 1993. I have been privileged to watch this change from different perspectives – from my days at Kodak Polychrome Graphics, Kodak, Presstek – and now at Xerox, where we live and breathe digital.
Digital and offset have found ways to coexist, and that’s good for print service providers who have made significant technology investments. We all know there are applications that are more appropriate for digital and vice versa. What’s interesting now is watching digital coexist with today’s multi-media marketing campaigns. Not surprising is print’s role in expanding the reach and impact of communications. Studies have found, for example, that people view printed marketing to be the “most trustworthy” of media channels.
Print makes emotional connections and memorable impressions in this fast-paced, always-on world. And applications printed digitally fuel these connections with personalized messages, colorful graphics and innovative substrates.
Print’s questionable survival has been replaced with renewed focus on its relevance: hardcopy books are back in demand, photo albums are hot commodities and online greeting card retailers are supplementing their offering with printed versions. That’s all beneficial to the industry and, more importantly, demonstrates the profound impact of digital printing.
What’s the next 20 years have in store? I predict more of the same. Print will continue to evolve and respond to the requirements of a challenging marketplace. To do so it needs to be smart, intuitive and inspiring – and digital printing will make that all possible.