Print is making the return to school possible thanks to some enterprising thinking, though is hampered by lack of funds and confusion over what schools need to do.
The power of print will be ably demonstrated the length and breadth of the country this week as printed graphics remind school children to keep apart from their friends, to keep washing hands and where they should stand and sit to minimize risks of spreading Covid-19. Digital simply cannot do what print can. Print has a key role in society for all ages, not just older generations.
Other printers are producing exercise books with microbial coatings, creating sanitizer stands and printed work books. This is all very encouraging for our industry but more can be done. For example what is disappointing is education’s adherence to remote learning using computers and online resource for those not in school. The evidence is clear that not every child has unfettered access to a laptop and a decent internet connection. Those without may be left behind. Yet every child can (or ought to be able to) read print. Printed books can level the learning playing field. Children can use printed materials without the distraction of Fortnite or Counterstrike.
Even if not actually producing print for schools, print companies should exploit what is happening. This is absolutely clear evidence that print is as relevant today as it has ever been. That does not mean that print is static: it is evolving, as the crisis enfolding paper and high volume printing demonstrates. But if it is changing, it is not going away. This week, every child returning school for the first time in moths will understand this.
Roads back to schools
The article Road back to school is paved with print goes into quite a bit of interesting details of what schools and printers in the UK and Scotland are doing to make it happen for kids headed back to the classrooms. Do login and have a read. NK
2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India
Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and
multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.
The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry.
While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately
their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book
printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.
The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.
Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.
Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.
Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.