How I wish…

How I wish I can keep my printing machine busy as it used to be;

How I wish we were not children of the technology age, printing would have still been the only way of reproducing books;

How I wish we never used our intelligence and creativity to improve our existence, hard copy newspapers would have still been our major source of news;

How I wish our phones didn’t have calendars, many printers would have still been making huge money printing calendars yearly;

How I wish the world didn’t start internalizing localization, mass production wouldn’t have given way to mass customization;

The old and still relevant saying “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride” is a nursery saying and a popular proverb first used in the year 1628 in a collection of Scottish proverbs. It simply means if wishing could make things happen, then even the most downtrodden and vulnerable would have everything their thoughts desire but unfortunately wishes are not horses…

Personally I wish that as many printers as possible will embrace the spirit of the age. At every point, this all important influence laid on the laps of those who could reach the widest of audience, such that at some point in time, the printing press, the radio and almighty television did grant this request, only that it was a one-way medium that concentrated power into the hand of a few…

The creator in his mercies, has broken the events of the world into dispensations, allowing a new spirit in each age or dispensation, and then the internet started opening up the space of influence, redefining the one way medium with a multichannel one placing influence in the hands of the techies.

With the benefit of hindsight I can’t but imagine what went on in the mind of Jamais Cascio when he said “When we developed written language, we significantly increased our functional memory and our ability to share insights and knowledge across time and space. The same thing happened with the invention of the printing press, the telegraph, and the radio.”

The above statement would be laughed at if looked through in a microscope of the present dispensation. In other words we will relate easily to the saying of Don Tapscott today, see his quote below;

“In one sense, the Internet is like the discovery of the printing press, only it’s very different. The printing press gave us access to recorded knowledge. The Internet gives us access, not just to knowledge, but to the intelligence contained in people’s crania, access to the intelligence of people on a global basis.”

With the global outlook of all businesses today, the printing practitioners can not afford to be left behind. Simply put, as we look inwards to make our doing print business better, we must understand that global outlook demands a willingness to work, create and collaborate with those you don’t know and probably won’t meet but good business will exchange hands, this persons will be from different cultures or even countries, there will definitely be differences in the way you act or speak, your jokes, beliefs or other cultural norms. All because the world is becoming a global village and the various social media selling platforms have become the new leveler. This leveler demands that as a matter of necessity, one must take interest in what is happening all over the world otherwise one could easily be termed a “backslider”.

Moving from the “How I wish” stage to globalization has much benefit and they include;

  1. Thinking Global– I am glad that from my last write up someone started looking at exporting digital labels and Direct to Garment prints but this means that as we think Global our print quality must also match the global standards. There is no chance exporting prints that won’t look like what they will get abroad, remember that the attraction for this global market is that you are cheaper but those communities will rather go back to their more expensive prints if you can’t convince them with a defining factor. so in a sense what I am talking about today will require greater level of professionalism.
  2. You become more open minded– and this is very important in the print shop that will survive today. Rather that fighting the disappearance of hard copy application forms because paperless offices demand that online forms should replace physical application forms, we can then shift our expertise to ensuring that documents like certificates which will still be physical can speak to individual experiences of those who will receive them (Security features, personalized designs etc can become the new defining factor in producing this all important document). Also an open mind fosters collaboration and meaningful relationship and having a global outlook helps to entrench this. Seeing and understanding what other nation do will help you understand that your way is not the only way and definitely can’t be the right way always.
  3. It is a humbling experience– Helping us see how big the world is and how small our mind and thinking is compared to the scope of the world outlook. The wise printer will step back and see how massive, diverse, incredible and handsome the world is.

This dispensation has put the infrastructure to better reach the world in place but the demands are quite tasking and the very first difficult task is a “paradigm shift”, once this is achieved then it becomes easier…

Friends and colleagues, how I wish you embrace the sprit of the new age for your printing business to make sense again…

  1. Printing will surely make sense again when we develop a global outlook to how printing is being practiced.

  2. Nice article… we need to get up and start working our wishes to reality.
    Where there’s a will there’s always a way. May our creativity and spirit of excellence be awakened 🙏🏾

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