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What does Printing mean to the younger generation?

Found in: News & Events

In the minds of the younger generation

Article reposted with permission from Printers Post.


 Printing as we all know it is a crucial element to our everyday lives, most of us reading this article have an unyielding bond with the printing industry lasting decades, and over these decades of immersion we understand the significance and relevance of print within our society. We live in a world of high quality visuals, colour and information, which has taken the better part of a century to evolve into. However, does the younger generation have any preconceived knowledge of this? Does it occur that they are exposed to a form of print in some aspect every day? Do they know it’s a major influencer on their everyday choices? Printers Post has taken it upon our selves to find out what the younger generation has to say about the printing industry…   Printers Post has conducted some research shadowing these questions in the hope to gain some answers, ultimately trying to answer these questions and gaining insight into how the younger generations think and feel towards the printing industry. The following interviewees express their knowledge and feelings in conjunction with their lifestyles and the industries they fall into, essentially helping us to better understand if we can hand down the printing industry in their capable hands. So let’s go on with it shall we.

 We either love them or hate them. They can either make our day or make for a really shitty start to one, but Printers Post will have you know Nicholas is a hidden gem within the hospitality industry and can make a cracker of a coffee. Printers Post has tasked Nick to express his understanding of what printing means to him.

 Nicholas Todman, 23  Head Barista at Zubi Espresso

 Q: What does print mean to you?  A: One of the most important industries going around, it’s used by every business by some way or form. Within the next 10 years I think the industry will go downhill due to online being so prominent.

 Q: Does your lifestyle or job require any services relating to print? If so what are they?  A: We use printing as a way to establish and maintain our brand image, as well as the coffee beans we use. It’s extremely important to let potential consumers know the type of coffee bean we use because it comes down to coffee bean loyalty, which could mean the make or break of a new customer.  We use print in local magazines, banners, business cards and loyalty cards for our café brand, as well as cups, lids and retail bags and signage for the coffee bean brand.

 Q: How relevant do you think print is to our society?  A: I believe it’s extremely relevant to our society, printing is everywhere and every business uses it in some way or another. Its logos, magazines, books, and clothing. I guess you can say everyone strives on having logos and brands on their clothing. It establishes your image and what demographic you come from, or what type of person you are. Its first impressions.

 Q: Does it play a big part in your everyday life?  A: Sure, most information you take in directly or indirectly comes from a printing source. It’s the menu you are reading at a restaurant or the sign pointing you in the direction of the toilets; it all comes from a printing source. Even if you don’t think printing is relevant to your everyday life, it is. Subconsciously you are exposed to it in some aspect.

 Q: Has this interview in some way changed the way you think about print?  A: It’s made me look at everything around me, I now notice all the small things relating to print and how relevant print is to us as people, and how prominent it is in our society.

 There’s close to no correlation between making coffee and the print industry, though Nick makes for some intriguing responses. The first of two points we wanted to revisit was Nick’s ability to identify the relevance of printing in his general surroundings. When put in perspective, we are literally surrounded by print in some form. As Nick mentioned in his interview, “It’s the menu you are reading at a restaurant or the sign pointing you in the direction of the toilets.” In this perspective of Nick’s it really makes you think of just how reliant our society is on communicating a message through the means of print. Secondly, the last point we wanted to mention was when Nick noted “Even if you don’t think print is relevant to your everyday life, it is. Subconsciously you are exposed to it in some aspect.” It’s fascinating how Nick identified that regardless of your demographics, printing is indirectly some way or another influencing your lifestyle and choices. For someone who has never given the concept of print a thought in his life, he’ made the industry sound more relevant than words can describe. Printing isn’t a thought most people think about on a daily basis, and for most it would mean a bit of paper coming out of a machine. As for Nick, it’s far more than just ink on paper. It’s a means of communicating information and establishing and maintaining an image, which we think sums up the printing world pretty well. Our second interviewee is also in an occupation which isn’t directly related to the printing industry, however, as Nick has just proven, your demographics don’t define your relation to the printing industry.

 Xander Thompson, 23  Production Supervisor at Four Pines Factory

 Q: What does print mean to you?  A: A way of people recognising our brand and their products, and being able to understand who we  are and what we stand for from the first impression.

 Q: Does your job/lifestyle require any services relating to printing? If so what are they?  A: Four Pines is heavily dependent on the printing industry, our product is beer so we use labels to brand our products as well as box them for transportation.

 Q: What mediums do you use to require a print service?  A: We sponsor a lot of events for promotional purposes. We’ve recently sponsored ‘True Grit’, which required massive banners, posters and flyers to promote the event and our sponsorship. Otherwise we’ve recently opened a new bar called ‘Truck Bar’ and other than using online and social platforms, we drop flyers in mailboxes and have brochures at local businesses.

 Q: What would you say is the frequency of use for printing services?  A: We’ll sponsor and run events on a fortnightly basis, however for labels and boxing it’s on a weekly basis. A consistent flow of labels/boxes are essential to our outflow, which is roughly around 200 000 beers a week, which also amounts to 8 000 cases.

 Q: Does your job require dealing with these services or does an individual in a higher position deal with them?  A: I don’t directly deal with the printing services myself; however, my team leader takes into account from previous months the demand of our products and makes a projection based on outflow, and then communicates with our printing provider.

 Q: Do you conduct any research when requiring a printing service?  A: We generally look for price, speed and output. We box and ship around 200 000 bottles a week and 8 000 cases, so the printing company needs to handle that output at a consistent rate. We don’t really consider equipment or process; we leave that in the hands of our printing provider.

 Q: How relevant do you think printing is to our society?  A: I don’t think it could be more relevant to our society, I mean it’s the labels on your beers, or the posters on your walls, or the prints on your shirt. Print is everywhere when you think about it.

 Q: Does it play a big part in your everyday life?  A: I guess it does, when I go do something like shopping it influences what I purchase. Like if I see a cool looking label, I might try that product over another. When you actually think about it, it really influences the choices you make.

 Q: Has this interview in some way or another changed the way you think about the printing industry?  A: I’ve never thought about print before this interview, so it’s kind of opened up my eyes to how big it is, and it’s literally wherever you look. I look at my job and Four Pines a lot differently and realise how essential print is for our survival.

 Before conducting this interview, Xander was confused as to why we were interviewing him about the print industry. It was a refreshing feeling watching Xander surprise himself with the knowledge he shared because he didn’t think it existed. Interviewing Xander was the initial push he needed to realise how dependent his Company is on the industry, and how important it is for their survival. Now that Xander has put print into perspective and digested its key benefits, he can appreciate print for what it is. The interview helped to cement that thought process, which was a goal we wanted to achieve with the interviewees that didn’t have much correlation with the industry. Now that we’ve achieved this goal, we’ve taken a different approach for our next interview. We wanted an individual whose occupation had more correlation with the printing industry to try and get a different angle on the matter.

 Baden Parker-Brown, 24  Communications Executive for RESPUBLICA (Public Relations)

 Q: What does print mean to you?  A: I see printing as a tool for communication and can be used for different forms of marketing material. For me it’s a hardcopy to get something out there.

 Q: Does your job/lifestyle require any services relating to printing? If so what are they?  A: My jobs requires a lot of print such as commercial printing. I work for a PR agency so a lot of print is required for reports, documents, and media kits and like I said previously a form of communication internally and externally.

 Q: What mediums do you use to require a printing service? (Posters, billboards, etc.)  A: We generally use a lot of newsletters, product labelling, media packs, signage and banners for events.

 Q: What would you say is the frequency of use for printing services?  A: Depending on what we are working at the time, however to put in in perspective, I’d say a project by project basis, which is weekly. However, on a PR scale I’d say a daily basis due to product labelling.

 Q: Does your job or lifestyle require any services related to printing? If so, what are they?     A: My job requires researching, obtaining quotes, going back and forth between the client with the cost, quality and speed of the service.

 Q: Do you conduct any research when requiring a printing service? Such as the equipment or process?  A: Of course! Cost, Quality & speed are the far most important. We don’t research into equipment or process, we leave those elements in the hands of the printing company. I base the quality of the service based off the portfolio provided and make an informed decision based of their previous works, cost and speed they are quoting. I’m definitely not knowledgeable enough to take into consideration the equipment or process they use.

 Q: How relevant do you think printing is to our society?  A: It’s always relevant, we are always going to need some form of print in one way or another. Online has obviously blown up over the last decade and had a massive influence on print like newspapers and magazines which are dying mediums. However, print will always be needed for a way of communication and won’t be completely eradicated. It’s interesting because some companies are going print-free such as Westpac, which says a lot.

 Q: Does it play a big role in your everyday life?  A: Yes of course, I work in the city and take public transport most days. So I’m constantly exposed to advertising on buses and trains. Even when walking through the city, massive brands for fashion and technology are always in your face. There’s always a message that wants to be conveyed, so I’m always encountering print in one way or another.

 Q: So you’ve spoken about print on an advertising and PR basis, does it occur to you that print is far broader than just those two industries? For example print clothing, signage, labelling on cars etc. Do these examples make you look at print in a way other than an Advertising/PR perspective?  A: Yes, I think print is an integral part of society and it’s far more relevant to us then we may think. You don’t generally think about print in that sort of aspect because it’s so transparent, and what I mean by transparent is that it’s so common that it can’t be seen. You’ve definitely changed my vision of print to a broader perspective because you never think of it in that perspective. Considering I’ve studied PR and I work in that industry, I’ve been trained to think of print as just ink on paper.

 It’s unique how Baden visualises the world of print with a corporate approach. His response differs so uniquely in comparison to the interviewees before him. His idea of the print world is somewhat diminishing because he visualises it as a dying medium, but is it? Certainly in some aspects, but not all. Print isn’t dying, it’s just had to move over to make room for new platforms such as online & social media. Nonetheless, Baden’s perspective provides an intriguing insight on how to look at the print world with a corporate approach.

 There you have it, a few perspectives from the younger generation. We think it’s evident that the respondents have a clear understanding of print, regardless of their relation with the industry. What was most surprising about interviewing these individuals, were their ability to relate print to themselves, and let’s be honest, it’s not a topic of discussion that comes up to often. We think it was a shock to the respondents and even more so for us, when they immersed themselves into the interview and expressed some really insightful responses. In essence, Printers Post believe the younger generations do have an understanding of the printing industry, however, all they needed was a small nudge, such as this interview to help express those hidden gems.