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If print is dead, is digital signage the rightful heir?

It seems that digital media taking over from print a little more every day, so maybe we should explore if print really is dead, and if so what impact is digital signage having on its demise.

For the past number of years the term “print is dead” has been thrown around a lot in every area imaginable. However it must be a slow and painful death for the traditional medium as digital looks for world domination. As it stands static print and digital signage share many key areas such as internal communication, advertising, menu boards, exhibitions, retail and wayfinding. However, as digital signage becomes more affordable it is developing into a fairer fight between print and digital. In fact according to Survey Monkey the price of digital signage dropped by 14% between 2004 and 2010; making this exciting medium more affordable than ever.

Although there are some areas where print is still the preferred display method, such as large scale outdoor advertising, digital signage is beginning to command many other markets for its distinct advantages over static signage. As well as generally being brighter, more vibrant and more reusable than print, digital signage offers the advantages of sound and movement to content, helping to grab the attention of the desired audience. Along with these benefits digital signage is also easier for small business owners to create and update simple content achieving high levels of success without having high levels of expertise. Digital signage is also perfect for targeted content, from displaying specific up-to-the-minute news, sports or weather stories to displaying time or promotional defined content such as a lunch menu or an advert for an offer ending that day.

The transition from paper to screen was drastically halted by the global recession. However, according to POPAI digital signage is now the fastest growing advertising method in the world, including the internet. It is not just the signage industry that has been affected by the digital takeover, other areas like newspapers, books, photography, maps and TV are all going through or have been through a digital switch over of sorts.

As digital signage continues to offer more opportunities than printed displays sign makers, printers, graphics companies and sign retailers must grow with the digital age and find ways of capitalising on the vast potential of digital signage rather than pretending it doesn’t exist. Print can even compliment digital signage in applications such as retail designs for shop fronts car showrooms and fashion displays as well as exhibition stands.

Print is not dead, nor will it ever die, but some day soon it will be taken over by digital signage.

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