Here at Claro Print, we recently noticed that online search giant Google has produced a printed magazine explaining the benefits of using Google. Hello?! … Is it just us or does that strike anyone else as a tad surprising?
Now of course we at Claro Print have to show our hand when it comes to talking up the benefits of print – we’re not impartial. We have a vested interest in seeing print remain a vibrant and positive player in the communications mix – however, it does raise a wry smile to see one of the harbingers of the new digital economy actually recognise the value of putting ink on paper.
The Hard or Soft Debate
The soft-copy / hard-copy debate has proponents on both sides. The soft-copy purists have long presented their case based with an environmental proposal as its foundation. ‘Stay green – keep it on screen’ is the mantra. It’s argued that by moving to paperless, your carbon footprint is reduced and costs come tumbling down. On the other hand, the hard-copy lobby which includes many in the paper and print industry as well as leading educationalists, has presented its case based on a fit-for-purpose proposal i.e. use the medium that most effectively achieves the desired outcome – rather than be slavishly tied to a digital dogma. And while presenting that message, the paper and print industry has led the charge to a greener, more sustainable future by putting in place a raft of measures to guarantee forests are managed and replanted at a rate that offsets carbon emissions.
The Real Environmental Cost
When the true environmental and economic cost of digital communications is accurately tallied, it appears the resources used in energy and hardware production make the dream of a no-emissions digital world a little less achievable than is often suggested.
So, the jury’s out on whether the future will be truly print-free as some suggest. A greener print industry is now fully up to the challenges of this new millennium. Many ‘digital’ offices and work places, having previously ditched print, are finding that the reintroduction of items such as printed letterheads and branded envelopes are being much more effective in promoting their brand than a digital logo as a sign-off on an email.If the ‘Guide to Google’ magazine tells us anything, it says that the future will be a mixed media world where print and digital, rather than being sworn enemies will sit down together and raise a glass to celebrate diversity and each other’s unique but distinct strengths.
At Claro Print, we live in both the digital world and also the world of hard copy. Each one has its place and specific function. Our Claro Print online printshop allows us to reach a much wider market with our printed goods and services than would otherwise be the case and it allows us to streamline our back office functions, giving our clients the best of both worlds.