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Look to the future: what role for print in a digital world?

The digital revolution has not killed off print – far from it. Print is still a thriving sector, but as businesses and individuals have embraced digital technologies, our relationship with print has changed over time. The pace of technological development is so rapid that attempting to predict the future is extremely difficult. It seems certain that digital technologies will continue to forge an even closer relationship with our personal and professional lives in future, which begs the question: what role is there for print in this increasingly digital world? PMG looks to the future…

‘Retro’ appeal

Digital technologies are providing competition for print in a number of key areas. The past decade has seen newspapers and magazines move online – although physical copies remain popular despite changing reader habits – and mobile apps have even muscled in on traditional print business cards. It wouldn’t be surprising if these trends were to continue in years to come. With digital alternatives to print becoming more widespread, print itself will grow to represent something new: the appeal of a retro approach combined with a luxe, bespoke feel. We can see this already, with the popularity of niche magazines in the design and lifestyle sectors often outstripping their digital counterparts. In years to come, your beautifully designed print business cards will mark you out as a company with a different approach: traditional, luxurious and high-end.

Interactive print

It would be a mistake to view digital technologies as like-for-like replacements of print processes. People talk about a ‘paperless’ future, but doing so fails to account for the ubiquity of print in marketing and advertising. It’s unlikely that we’ll see a near future without direct mail marketing, point-of-sale advertising or poster campaigns, for instance. Increased adoption of interactive print seems a far likelier scenario. In its most basic form, interactive print might take the form of the branded cardboard surrounds that hold video displays in point-of-sale displays. In future, however, we’ll see clever digital technologies combine with print in more innovative ways. Take a look at our article exploring some of the more exciting applications of interactive print.


It’s easy to see how certain digital applications have replaced print in our personal and professional lives. Email and messaging apps have largely replaced internal memos, for example, and such changes are often for the best. However, certain print projects are simply irreplaceable. Packaging is one such application. No matter what the future holds your products will have to be packaged in order to display vital information and protect the goods within. Will we see advances in product packaging over the next few years? Almost certainly. Imagine buying a product with a small screen integrated into the packaging, displaying an instructional video to help you get the most from your new purchase! It isn’t beyond the realms of possibility. However packaging changes in the near future, print will continue to play a crucial role.

Here at PMG, pushing print on our clients isn’t our priority. We want you to make the most from the print processes you do use, and minimise those that you don’t need in order to save money and resources. We can help you to develop a positive relationship with both print and digital technologies, and it all starts with a free, no obligation print inspection. Contact us today to find out more.

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