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    Is print dead?

    Sam Mutimer

    Do you still get a big and bulky Yellow or White Pages delivered to your door every year or has it been better appropriated as a door step/ paper weight/ height booster?
    Over the next three years, Sensis have already forecast that their revenue will drop along with the diminishing demand for print publications nationwide. It was said late last year that Sensis’ external income dropped by 17.6% in the half year. Advertisers in the Yellow and White Pages were said to also have declined as the push for digital advertising and online marketing continues to grow. Many small businesses are now taking it upon themselves to do their own social media and marketing strategies rather than leaving it up to the advert in the Yellow Pages.
    In America, both San Francisco and Seattle have banned the use of standard distribution of the big and bulky pages. They have passed a bi-law and with other states to follow the book ban. From the Sensis survey, it was said that 58% of Australians would, if given the option, not have the bulky directories delivered to their houses.
    Even in some pre-schools and kindergartens they are replacing crayons, textas and pencils with ipad programs that teach them numbers, alphabets and colouring-in.” In the Maine city of Auburn, USA they are rolling out Ipads to 300 children in the next few months. The Daily Mercury quoted Superintendent Tom Morrill saying “it’s a revolution in education.” So instead of children colouring in and drawing pictures to take home and put on the fridge, are they emailing them home to be shown on the family computer?
    Typography is yet another art form that is evolving with the digital world. The traditional printing and distributing is decreasing however the incline of web design and sharing is growing rapidly with graphic designers, illustrators and typographers going online.
    I live and breathe social media but I would also like to think of myself as a bit retro. I have a copy of the yellow pages at home. They were holding the door open during summer. I have to admit that I have used it only once or twice when my internet connection went down and I had to call a plumber that same day. The other time was when I was at my Grandad’s house looking up something in the local area. He still has a phone that has the receiver connected to the base. So I know that he needs the Sensis Pages delivered to his door.
    There is a secret happiness I get when my subscription to Bespoke magazine arrives in the mail. The graphics; the feel of the paper and the beautifully constructed pages are all things that you can only get in real life. I love spending a Sunday afternoon flicking through the printed pages with the gorgeous typography knowing that the magazine has been stapled by hand and clearly packaged with love. There is nothing nicer than getting letters or cards in the mail! It is so much nicer getting a card from your Nana in the mail as opposed to a digital birthday tune in your inbox!
    So the question remains. Is print dead? If I had my way, it would simply whittle down into a small elite of targeted, niche publications that offer huge value to their audience who, like me, would remain loyal.
    Share your thoughts! What are your views on the future of print? What value can print bring in the digital age (if any)?