museums&MORE Spring 2012
Editor’s Letter: The Proof is in the Print

“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Although the quote is attributed to Mark Twain, I feel it can also be applied to the realm of print, both in personal and professional capacities. With digital and electronic innovations over the past decade, it would be easy to assume that things like a handwritten note, magazine or print ad have gone way of the dinosaur.

While it’s true that the era of iPads and apps has had a significant impact on the role of printed materials in our society, I would argue that print is anything but “dead.” I will offer up my evidence in the form of once simple word: integration.

Just because something new comes along doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to take the place of something else, as one size does not fit all when it comes to the distribution of everything from birthday greetings to magazines such as the one you are holding in your hands right now.

The debate continues to rage as to print versus digital and while I am a staunch supporter of the instant gratification of online content and social media, I am also a staunch supporter of having something tactile in my hands – be it a card, a book or a magazine.

While it’s personal preference, I feel that something in print carries with it a certain amount of credibility, perhaps as a result of the overwhelming amount of information online and the ease at which anyone can contribute. Part of me feels that if someone invested enough to print and mail it, it must be important.

I have no research to back that up, but I do know that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, meaning print doesn’t have to be dead just as digital doesn’t have to be king. The key is integration – finding what works best for you and your audience and playing off those strengths.

Social media, online content and iPad applications are all part of the marketing mix today, whether you’re a retailer, an editor or someone sending out holiday cards. But with this influx of electronic information, more and more people are actively choosing to unplug, or disconnect themselves from digital media. Many return back to where they started from-reading books and magazines, sending cards and living life offline, well-aware that they can return and find anything the need online at any point in time.

This issue includes a variety of examples of just that – living life both online and off – as we explore trends in stationery, the gift stores of zoos, botanical gardens and cruise ships and those tactile accessories that help complete not only an outfit, but a sale.

And while you’re currently holding this printed publication in your hands, select features are also posted on our website as well. It’s our goal to develop a publication that’s more than just words on paper, but rather an integrated experience to help you achieve retail success – online and off.

Social Connections

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