The Offset Argument
Is offset dead or here to stay? Yes, says one in-plant administrator.December 2011 By John Sarantakos
THIS IS going to be a little weird, but I am going to have an argument with myself over the future of offset printing. I must caution the weak of heart to be prepared for violence and possible rough language.
John: You are an idiot! What do you mean offset is dying?
Me: Just what I said. Offset is quickly fading into the sunset.
John: No it's not. I'll admit that it is slowly declining, but so is black-and-white copying. Digital color is growing, but it's still way too expensive for any kind of quantity.
Me: You are correct on that. But I'm talking about five, 10, 20 years from now. Heck, we don't have any idea what technology will bring us 12 months from now. I mean, get real. iPads for one will only grow in strength and popularity. If there is not an app for that now, there will be next week.
John: Why is it then that all the research is telling us that print is the way to advertise? Huh? For crying out loud, I spend more time deleting e-mail junk than I do reading e-mails that are important to me. Now you're trying to tell me there will be more. I don't think so.
Me: How about Virtual Reality?
John: Yeah, that's a good one. Maybe my avatar will make all my buying decisions. I can't wait to snuggle up with a good Kindle on a cold winter night. Don't feed me this junk about how no one will want a real book anymore. As a dyed-in-the-wool Baby Boomer, I will always choose real over electronic.
Me: You are just a techno-incompetent.
John: No I'm not, you dill weed. I'm as savvy as you are. Maybe more so. I contend that my generation and the Gen X group will always demand paper. Now the other generations, I'm not so sure of. It is a little hard to read a book, when you can't read. I will say this, the thing that will kill offset faster than technology is finding people that want to actually work. You know, learn a trade, and produce something. Heck everyone that graduates from college today immediately wants to be the boss making six figures.
John Sarantakos is administrator of University of Oklahoma Printing & Mailing Services and president of the In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org