International Print Day is an ideal time to discuss three interactive print projects that demonstrate how printed pages can be linked to rich, online media.
At the Print 17 show in September, I picked up two books and a magazine that use three different link technologies and apps to showing how printed pages can be connected to video, motion graphics, discussion forums, PDF updates, and additional resources.
Business Book: The Third Wave
The book “The Third Wave” by Joseph W. Webb and Richard M. Romano uses HP Link technology. Readers who download the HP LinkReader can scan hyperlinked text and images to get more information, watch a video, or listen to a song.
In addition to engaging book readers, HP Link Technology can be used on packages and other printed products for authentication or tracking shipments and inventory.
In the book, which was written for owners of printing businesses, the authors discuss how smarter mobile phones, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things will affect printing businesses.
The pages of the book were printed on an HP PageWide WebPress T240HD and the cover was output on an HP Indigo digital press. The book was published by King Printing Co., a Lowell, Massachusetts-based company that provides short-run book-printing services for more than 10,000 authors and publishers.
Textbook: Introduction to Graphic Communication
“Introduction to Graphic Communication” by Harvey Levenson and John Parsons is a prototype edition of an updated textbook that is being developed for students of graphic communications. It uses Ricoh’s Clickable Paper technology with the CP Clicker app to demonstrate how print and digital content can work together. Readers can access video demonstrations, animations, photo galleries, audio content, live chat, and other multimedia content.
Ricoh’s Clickable Paper technology doesn’t require printing unsightly QR codes or other marks on the page. Instead, the Clicker app detects hotspots on the page that can connect to several links. In addition to enlivening books and educational materials, Clickable Paper can be used in marketing materials. It can connect readers to additional product information, product reviews, or e-commerce portals.
Magazine: Out of Chaos
“Out of Chaos” is a digitally printed version of the online magazine published by the color-management experts at Rods and Cones. The Spring 2017 issue of the magazine was printed, bound, and trimmed on the Canon imagePRESS C10000VP digital press. The printed articles are enhanced with Stampatech “Print Infinity” technology.
Stampatech augmented-reality technology recognizes photographs and logos on printed books, labels, marketing literature, or packaging and triggers interactive content. Users of the app can learn more about the product, give feedback, or even make purchases.
An article in “Out of Chaos” magazine features excerpts from the white paper “Has Augmented Reality Really Gone Mainstream?” by Cindy Walas and Kevin Keane.
As it becomes easier for readers to use smartphone apps to access digital content from printed pages, designers, authors, and other content creators will have to think differently about they plan their books, magazines, packages, and marketing materials.
Authors of non-fiction books will no longer have to worry so much that content in the book will become quickly outdated. And they can link to video demonstrations of complex processes that can be difficult to explain in a few paragraphs. Fiction writers could use rich media to help readers visualize key characters or settings or interact with the author.
The new linking technologies combine the interactivity of e-books with the simple pleasure of “off-screen” reading. It’s up to the reader to decide whether they want to access information solely through the printed page or if they want to use the printed pages as gateways to informative videos or more current, in-depth content.