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Print - The perfect companion to digital media

Friday 12th July 2013


Let’s face it. Everybody is banging on about ‘digital media’ and how its widespread use could undermine the print industry. The reality though is that these communication tools can actually be a positive addition for the creative among us and not detrimental to the visual and compelling attraction of printed graphics. As a matter of fact, “Digital Motion Graphics”, which is also often referred to as “Digital Signage”, is an increasingly popular technology that can work in alongside digital print to amplify its effects and produce a more engaging experience.

But what exactly do we mean when we talk about “digital signage?” This term usually identifies screens placed within POP or at locations to show video and promotional information connected with different brands or products. Who says then that this medium shouldn’t be effectively integrated with eye-catching printed graphics as well? Advertising and promotional videos can be emphasised by static graphics that act as the perfect backdrop for a more content based insight into a specific campaign. Displays can incorporate flat panel screens to act like windows into the world of a creative theme, and invite passers-by to further explore the array of opportunities offered by a particular brand. It goes without saying that high impact imagery will capture attention with looping video content but when this is presented in conjunction with additional and specific printed graphics and imagery, that this further enhances the overall experience.

Another digital trend that we really shouldn’t underrate as a powerful amplifier of the consumer experience is Augmented Reality (AR). In simplified terms, this is the process of scanning a printed image or element within a larger image, which triggers some clever technology with a smartphone or similar device, to overlay animated content on top of the printed image. Scan an advert for a pair of shoes and you could see the ultimate designers’ collection, or scan a car brochure and you could see a 3D image of that car driving through the Alps - helping you to visualise yourself in those shoes or that car!

Augmented Reality creates an enticing link between print and digital media, connecting the two and drawing in the consumer using the attraction of other content sources that can be both informative or entertaining. Embedded in print, content can seemingly be bought to life by a smartphone camera/tablet, unleashing opportunity for consumers to be taken through stimulating “brand journeys” that amplify the effect of a campaign. AR triggers could be incorporated for instance into retail displays and window graphics, easily accessible for potential customers.

A combination of print and digital media can make the brand message more memorable and effective, taking advantage of different forms of promotion and engagement. So why should print service providers be scared of the digital advance? They don’t have any reason to be. On the contrary, they should exploit digital signage and augmented reality, along with the other up-and-coming interactive devices, to expand their range of services and increase their competitiveness.

Talk to BAF and find out how we can enhance your digital and multi-channel campaigns.

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