Linking Print to Digital

I know its decadent, but there is something special about a great printed piece. There are so many papers, inks and designs and so much that can happen when you skillfully combine them. I love going to the Print Industry Association (PIA) Trade Show in San Diego. This year’s show was a fraction of the size of previous years due to digital, but many of the best paper and printing companies still thankfully remain.

I asked exhibitors to tell me about their favorite marketing pieces or what’s new with their company and the resounding answer was Augmented Reality (AR) Codes. AR codes are like QR codes and they link your printed piece to digital. When you are reading printed material and you see an icon (these can be custom made), you can capture it with your phone, and then your phone displays more information such as a video or even the page where you can purchase the item.

Ricoh called it “Clickable Paper” in their Spark Session talk. SOS Printing is using QR Codes and Augmented Reality with the Printergize app.

Jennifer Lamm at NewPage demonstrated the Layar Augmented Reality app in action.


Watch the video below. It’s one of my favorites because the guy on the cover of the magazine comes to life with Layar.

Layar Video

Eye/Comm focused marketing solutions were one of the first of the exhibitors to mention this technology and they have some links to some great uses of AR in their blog post: Enhance Your Direct Mail Marketing For Better Results. Read this post and be sure to see what Starbucks did, if you haven’t already seen it.

At this trade show you can see and feel the surfaces that are available to print on. All kinds of paper, much not made from trees, wallpaper and even window shades. I met some experts today who I can call upon to get the job done right!


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