As I am sure you all know by now, today is “Back to the Future Day.” October 21, 2015, a day that will live in movie infamy. In the movie “Back to the Future 2,” Doc Brown and Marty McFly travel from 1985 to this day in the future. It is a time of flying cars, hover boards, self-sizing shoes, and the Cubs finally winning the World Series (we can still hope, but a the writing of this article, it is looking grim). It is also a time in which “print” is a prominent element to the fate of the past, and the future.

Though we do not see a significant amount of “print” in the movie, it is a magazine that is at the heart of the whole story. Did you ever think print would be that vital to our future (and past)?

Of course you did, you are a printer.

So, the future is here, what does that mean for “print?” How many times have we heard, “Print is Dead!” Well I am here to say resoundingly, “PRINT IS NOT DEAD” It is still a compelling and engaging form of communication that we use in abundance daily. I believe the best way to support this is hoping in the Delorean, cranking it up to 88mph and traveling to the past. Ready?

Here is a segment of an article from Forbes Magazine that is over 3 years old. It talks about the viability of print. Let’s review and see if things are still relevant.

Tangibility – A print piece is a physical thing. Magazines and newspapers can stay in houses or offices for months or years, while Internet ads can disappear into cyber space instantaneously. Marty McFly knows this so VERY well.

Credibility – There is something about print that gives a sense of legitimacy. The saturation of popups and banner ads on the web can be overwhelming and the fear of spam and viruses is enough make people weary of clicking. There is no imminent danger in a print ad.

Branding – Print ads are excellent for solidifying your brand identity. Your ads should have a consistent aesthetic in terms of fonts, colors and types of images to establish brand recognition.

Target Marketing – Placing ads in publications such as specialty magazines can effectively reach niche audiences that may be more difficult to target online.

More Engaging – Consumers are more engaged when reading printed material, unlike websites, which are often skimmed in as little as a 15 second visit. A study shows that people read digital screen text 20% – 30% slower than printed paper. (Alshaali & Varshney, 2005)

Less Print Ads – With more and more businesses relying solely on the Internet for their advertising needs, the decline of print publication can actually be used as a marketing advantage. The publications are less crowded, allowing more room for your ad to shine, and possibly even cheaper prices for that ad space.

All of these points from 3 years ago are still viable today. Let’s make a bold predication. Let’s travel 10 years into the future and see if things are still status quo.

Who is willing to check it out? Someone comment in ten years and let me know.