Posts Tagged ‘technology’


Print Different

Posted by: by John Parsons on December 29th, 2012

This is typically the time of year when columnists, pundits, and bloggers look back at the past year, and ahead to what the next one may bring. Assuming the planet will not end altogether on December 21st, here’s my retrospective and glimpse forward for the printing industry. For some, the Mayan apocalypse may actually be [...]


Fear of the Dark

Posted by: by John Parsons on December 11th, 2012

Admittedly, Halloween would have been a better holiday for this post, but since superstitions have no fixed season, I thought I’d dredge up an old one—namely, printing as a “dark art”—and ask if those same fears cloud our thinking today. When Gutenberg’s vision of print manufacturing first emerged, it was a highly disruptive technology. It [...]


What Makes Paper So Special?

Posted by: by John Parsons on November 13th, 2012

When discussing the merits of print communication, pundits like me tend to fixate specific applications like publishing or business communication, but don’t say much about the medium itself: paper. There are preconceptions about its inconvenience in dealing with large quantities of data (true) or its negative impact on the environment (false). However, we don’t often [...]


First Impressions

Posted by: by John Parsons on November 13th, 2012

It never pays to resist or deride innovators—especially in the world of print. The clerics and inquisitors who warned us about the dangerous innovation of Herr Gutenberg (himself a pious man) ended up on the losing side of that technology argument. William Morris decried the industrialization of the printed word, and even went so far [...]


Consumer Media Choices: Paper or Silicon?

Posted by: by John Parsons on October 29th, 2012

Not all that long ago, our communications choices were limited to print and some form of analog broadcast. Computers changed how we created media, especially for the printed page, but not the medium itself. Of course that all changed with the Inter-Web and its latest incarnation: mobile devices. In the rush to go mobile—our collective [...]


The Perils of Print+Mobile

Posted by: by John Parsons on October 25th, 2012

Earlier this month, I journeyed to Chicago for this year’s Graph Expo, the annual trade ritual for the struggling print industry in North America. Occurring only a few months after drupa—the worldwide version of that experience—Graph was something of a re-hash. My editor at Printing Impressions acknowledged this when he commissioned my upcoming article on [...]


Print Is…

Posted by: by John Parsons on September 12th, 2012

The question “is print dead?” is superficial nonsense. The real question should be: “What is print, and why should we care?” Print is everywhere, and is likely to continue for many, many years. Putting oil-based ink on ground-up trees may decline,* but it will be replaced by other printing methods—like toner or inkjet—a lot more [...]


The Medium and the Message

Posted by: by John Parsons on August 24th, 2012

McLuhan’s famous line (misquoted here) was brought to mind recently by the struggles of someone close to me. Let’s call him Frank. An otherwise insightful and witty writer, Frank is a somewhat erratic speller. However, to the already whimsical spelling rules of the English language has been added the benefit/curse of computerized spellcheck. Many of [...]


Who’s On First? (The Problem With English)

Posted by: by John Parsons on August 12th, 2012

For better or for worse, English is the language of business, information technology, entertainment, philosophy, and public discourse in much of the world. Other languages have held similar preeminence (Greek, Latin, Chinese, French, and Arabic, for example.) Some are still regionally or culturally very strong. However, the fact is that if your information requirements are [...]


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