Is Print a Dying Medium?

Is Print a Dying Medium?

There are some days when I cannot help but wish I were a designer before the existence of the World Wide Web. Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as much an online addict as the next person, but there are moments when I long for the tangibility that only the medium of print can provide. Although it seems like the industry is quickly shrinking, the question that needs to be asked is whether there is a real possibility of print becoming completely obsolete?

The Print Industry Association of Australia has discovered a significant amount of evidence supporting the affirmative, and looking around us it is not hard to see that the existence of print material is waning. One of the biggest examples is the drop in production of newspapers. A survey conducted by the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism stated that, compared to 41% of people who said they received the majority of their news online, only 10% got it from a physical newspaper. And this is only one example! Everyday more and more people are using the web to get their message across, and even more are using it as a channel to receive information. This suggests that there is a serious shift occurring. What was once printed material, is now being converted to a format more suitable for an online space.

‘Dying’ implicates that eventually print will no longer exist. Despite the evidence above, I believe that it will never be completely gone; there will always be some kind of need for print no matter how small. For example, regardless of the existence of the Internet a product will always require some form of physical packaging. I’m also hoping that there are some humans out there, like myself, who will always prefer to read an actual book rather than a screen, or receive a printed invite on gorgeous paper as opposed to a generic email.

Although it does appear that print may be experiencing what could be described as an acute resize, I am not convinced that the industry is facing a certain death.


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