The Future of Print

By Heidi Trost

Dwindling print budgets are nothing new to print designers. Whether you view the shift from print to digital as exciting or devastating, ultimately, change is imminent. Spark NYC brought together three print-passionate experts to discuss what is on every designer's mind: will I ever be able to use embossing, edge painting or gold foil stamping again? Colin Robinson, co-publisher of OR Books, Lee Moody, Business Development Manager of Mohawk Fine Papers, and Megan McFarland, partner and managing editor of Sideshow Media, comprised the panel of experts with some compelling insight on the future of the industry:

1. Be adaptable, innovative, and aware of trends before they become mainstream. Mohawk took into account new technologies with Felt & Wire Shop and Pinhole Press.

2. Do not despair: according to Megan McFarland, there will continue to be a market for coffee table books, though clients may demand a distinctive end product on a shoestring budget.

3. Challenge existing business models. Colin Robinson sells on-demand and e-books directly to the customer--eliminating the need for the middleman. Not only is he able to spend more money on marketing, his business is far more profitable.

4. Be aware of the individual versus the mass market. More than ever, individuals are looking to self-publish. They may just want something extra special.