Focus on the present

By Jo Francis, Friday 21 December 2018

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Not, in this case, Christmas presents. We should all make the effort to champion what 21st century print production can do, says Jo Francis.

As I type this, I’ve just been leafing through the Yellow Pages.

“Why?” I hear you cry. “Yellow Pages is dead.”

Yes indeed it is, I was looking at my local 120pp ‘final edition’ with a cover flash saying just that to make the point absolutely clear.

I’m sure there are some people out there who do still use their Yellow Pages, I just don’t know any of them. Judging by the number of adverts for plumbers, perhaps it’s the thing people immediately turn to when they’ve got water coming through the ceiling.

Meanwhile, guess how many adverts for printers there are in my edition? That’s right, none.

Yellow Pages is a perfect example of a print product that is no longer worth the ink, paper, and effort that goes into producing it.

Unfortunately, because of its previous substantial presence in every household, and that charming JR Hartley ad, the demise of Yellow Pages has helped fuel an incorrect perception that people don’t need printed things anymore – despite the fact that print in one shape or another is all around us, every day.

As this year draws to a close, I’ve been thinking back about all the many and varied print items I’ve come across in 2018, from the everyday to the exceptional.

It also made me think about something else: all of us in this great industry of ours need to be champions of print, we need to be on the front foot in challenging misconceptions. Nobody else is going to do this for us.

We can rightly be enthused about what print is really good at and what it can do for people and businesses TODAY –  what print can do in the present, rather than what it might have done in the past.

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