At the Distinguished Leader Session, Michael Chase, chief marketing officer for St. Joseph Communications, provided highlights from the company’s “2018 Print In a Digital World” trend report. St. Joseph compiles these trend reports as a service.
Chase’s presentation ran down more than two dozen examples of unique, creative, and some downright insane uses of print.
Augmented reality (AR) is playing a major role in the “digitization” of print. “It’s the Gutenberg press meets the internet,” he said. If you’re not utilizing these technologies, said Chase, “you’re not playing in the world.” AR technologies have myriad applications, such as the September issue of Vogue that, thanks to Condé Nast’s partnership with Google Home, allows the ability to “ask” Jennifer Lawrence questions and access relevant portions of an audio interview.
In another example, France’s Castorama offers Magic Wallpaper, AR-enabled printed wall décor designed for kids that, when printed characters are scanned with a smartphone app, tells a story.
It’s not just about AR. In fact, new kinds of inks are enabling some truly creative interactive print applications. Shoe company Asics created a print ad for runners that utilized a thermal ink. The reader pulls out the two-page spread, steps barefoot on the pages, and the ink reveals their unique footprint. They match it to a legend of foot types and can better select the best running shoe to maximize comfort and minimize injuries. “Conductive inks are turning up all over the place,” said Chase.
From “next-generation brochures” that interact with smartphones to provide AR experiences, to thermal inks, or light-sensitive inks that react with a smartphone flash to reveal invisible features, today’s cutting edge applications make print exciting, relevant, and effective in ways that are not possible using digital media alone.
This article originally appeared in Printing Impressions.