Grant LaFleche: Print is not dead

Print has taken a hit over the past several years as the popular perception that digital would
replace the medium has turned the print industry on its head. New statistics reveal that although consumption of print has shifted, it is here to stay, as advertisers are finding their way back.

All things being equal, you are reading this article on a page in the printed edition of this magazine.

You could have got here on your computer. Or on your smartphone. But you didn’t. You chose to pick up the physical magazine. 

Before reading any further, take a moment and feel the weight of the magazine in your hands.

Run your fingers along the page, over the letters printed in black ink. Flip through the magazine, cover to cover, and listen to the faint rustle of the turning pages.

Readers have experienced those sensations when they pick up a magazine or a newspaper or a book for nearly six centuries. Of course, the means of creating these pages have changed considerably since Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1440. Computers and high-quality paper have replaced a hand-powered printer pressing ink onto parchment. Still, in technological terms, the printed page is archaic. The publishers of the 21st century are, on a very fundamental level, still using a 15th-century solution to mass communication.

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