What's Pixel's 'Print Revolution' about?

Editor - 15th May 2015

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Print in the retail and consumer arena has a bright future, and Life Media Group is here to champion it as we push to grow the sector in the UK

Creative Commons – Castor.

Here at Pixel and In:Print magazines, we are, and have always been, firm believers in photographic print. Living in what has recently been described by Google’s boss as the ‘Digital Dark Age’, it is now more apparent and important than ever to preserve our digital memories and interactions in physical form.

We also believe it is hugely important for members of the industry to work collectively to reintroduce the concepts, opportunities and products that are now available to our valued clients in order for them to preserve and enjoy their images for years to come.

Stitched Panorama
Creative Commons – Gonzalo Iza

Vint Cerf, Google’s Vice President, warned us recently that we stand to lose a whole generation of history and memories when the programmes we need to view older digital files eventually become defunct. “We don’t want our digital lives to fade away,” he said at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in California. “If we want to preserve them, we need to make sure that the digital objects we create today can still be rendered far into the future.”

Cerf is calling for a way to preserve old files so they can be recovered regardless of their age. He added: “When you think about the quantity of documentation from our daily lives that is captured in digital form, like our interactions by email, people’s tweets, and all of the world wide web, it’s clear that we stand to lose an awful lot of our history.

“We are nonchalantly throwing all of our data into what could become an information black hole without realising it. We digitise things because we think we will preserve them, but what we don’t understand is that unless we take other steps, those digital versions may not be any better, and may even be worse, than the artefacts that we digitised.” If they are around at all, of course.

While Cerf highlights the impact this loss of data could have on humanity in the future, it is also worth considering the impact on families and individuals of today. Most people store hundreds, often thousands, of videos and photographs on hard drives on their computers, memory cards and dusty boxes of CDs, trusting that they will be able to access the files any time they like in the future. But what happens if/when the technology needed to translate the data stops being produced? As technologies evolve, they also by nature change – and aside from digital corruption, there are no guarantees of compatibility as the way we capture and store images evolves.

Possibly now more than ever, the photographic and print industries need to rise to the bait and champion photo printing in all its forms: standard 6” x 4”, photo-books, albums and all manner of photo gifts…the possibilities are, if not endless – increasingly extensive. From the working professional to the weekend iPhone photo snapper, the message is the same, ‘PRINT IT OR LOSE IT’.

These photo products put the value back into everyday photography and help to preserve what might otherwise be lost in the so called ‘black hole’ of our digital era. Working in this industry, we are all aware of how many times more emotive the printed photograph is when compared to the screen of a mobile device or laptop. It’s physical and real, you can touch it, feel it and – depending on the quality of the device used to capture the image (and sometimes the photographer), can be enlarged way beyond the size of a telephone screen to create an impressive feature. People used to share pictures before digital photography and digital devices came along, the difference then is that the printed pictures would take pride of place and often become the second thing to be rescued during house fires (the first being family members of course).

Right now are similar conversations taking place in all tech industries affected by the digital age – most notably perhaps in music. Recently there has been an unexpected and sizeable resurgence of vinyl records in the music industry. A tactile, physical format that is set apart from its more convenient and yet less appealing digital cousin. There are lessons to be learned here and encouraging our customers to re-engage with print should be high on our collective agendas.

So here we are. Pixel and In:Print Magazines are set to roll out an ongoing campaign and as well as working with various manufacturers, governing bodies and associations to promote photo print, we have also decided to align the titles and combine In:Print, our popular magazine for retail print sectors, with Pixel itself. From now on, the entire back section of Pixel Magazine will be dedicated to the printing arena, including standard industry news and product launches, but also updates on promotional activities and we hope, some inspirational and potentially lucrative business ideas for you put to your clientele.

Far from being dead, print is undergoing a revival – and we will be part of it.

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