Something seems to have happened in the way that print is presented or thought of. This comes over through print journalists as they are still the main voice of print. My guess is that something was said at Davos, judging from the online accounts around the Guardian though nothing turned up in print so it is impossible to evidence anything.
Maybe by coincidence a couple of views turn up in Printing World
. The Editor's Letter (Printing World
Feb) starts out with the news that "Adare now calls itself a marketing and corporate communications provider, not a printer or print manager." Barney Cox finishes with an opinion on whether the industry should continue to use the word "print" as a name. "Much as it pains me to think of firms making less of the fact they print, if it helps them make more profit through the way they and their clients think of them it's the sensible solution."
This still leaves some need to describe what else is on offer. The London College of Printing has had a name change to "Communications
" but it seems to me that this has yet to be explained.
Then in Printweek
(15 Feb) Lawrence Wallis has implied that the change around DTP is now over. The printing business has now integrated with "other areas of trade and commerce". Nothing about declining standards or how new technology will never actually function, topics that appeared quite often in Printweek
during the period under discussion. My only reservation about his view is when he claims the "new methods have resulted in a substantial degree of deskilling." Even the people using Photoshop Elements and Word for Windows have some sort of skill. And the pre-press wizards who cope with the results have new responsibilites for learning support.
Also the DTP that followed from the 1970s was mostly about page makeup, not publishing. It is the web that makes it possible to publish from one desktop in a way that reaches any audience with an interest. Of course this can be quite a small audience but I have got the hang of linking to YouTube so the potential is now there for any blogger.
The remaining mystery is why Haymarket do not make more of Brand Republic, apparently the only website that is much promoted. There is still much emphasis on printed magazines, to a confusing extent in the marketing area in my opinion.