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NEW YEAR PREDICTIONS – WHAT CAN WE SAY ABOUT THE FUTURE OF PRINT?

Monday, 14 December 2015 | By Gerry Mulvaney

 

By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing

At this festive time of year it is usual for commentators to make predictions about what might happen in the new year and equally it is common for individuals to make resolutions which they will try to keep.

Two cartoons about new year resolutions

New year resolution fun

The fun part always comes at the end of the year when you can look back and see which ones have come true and which have not seen the light of day, as well as seeing how long their new year resolutions lasted. Doing this on an annual basis is fun, but spare a thought for those who indulge in the process over a much longer time scale.

For the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900 a group of French artists led by one Jean-Marc Côté produced a series of cigarette and cigar cards which attempted to predict what the world would look like in the year 2000. These were later developed into postcards and were released as “France in the Year 2000” in 1899, 1900, 1901 and again in 1910. If you think about the task of making the same predictions about what life will look like in 2100, you get some idea of the scale of the task taken on by Jean-Marc and his friends.

Looking at the results, the first thing you see is the beautiful illustrations followed by an alarmingly accurate view in many cases of what would unfold. The illustration of an airborne postman clearly predicted the arrival of airmail letters and cards, but could also be a prediction about Amazon and their planned drone deliveries.

Futuristic postcard from the series France in the Year 2000

France in the Year 2000: the future of mail as depicted by French artists
at the turn of the 20th century

Their postcard showing Correspondence Cinema is a frighteningly accurate picture of today’s Skype and Facetime, and their view of electrically controlled farming is one my wife’s farmer cousin can easily relate to as he sits in his computer controlled tractor, accurately ploughing and harvesting using GPS satellite technology.

France in the Year 2000: the future of farming as depicted by French artists  at the turn of the 20th century

France in the Year 2000: the future of farming as depicted by French artists
at the turn of the 20th century

You can see more of their lovely illustrations and perceptive predictions here.

What We Can Foresee about the Future of Print

Naturally Jean-Marc and his French friends are not around in 2015 to see the accuracy of their illustrations but they deserve credit nevertheless. I am not going to be so bold when I look at 2016. I can predict a very busy drupa for all of us at Landa Digital Printing. We have a stand that is twice the size we occupied in 2012.

For those of us lucky to have been there and experienced the huge crowds wanting to find out about the Nanography® process, the extra space will be very welcome, particularly as I suspect we can expect some more surprises from Benny Landa.

drupa 2012 crowd watching Landa’s show on the future of print on a giant screen

The crowd at the drupa 2012 Landa stand watching Benny present the future of print

Will we see Nanography as the dominant printing technology in 2100? Who can tell? But one thing is for certain: from what we have seen over this past year – the printed document, packaging and book will still have a part to play in charting the progress of technology over the next one hundred years.


Sources
Lobby image: http://core0.staticworld.net/images/article/2015/12/2016-predictions-100631672-primary.idge.jpg
Main page images: http://blogs.psychcentral.com/couples/files/2014/12/Angus-Phil.jpg
- http://thecatholiccatalogue.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/calvin-hobbes-new-years-resolutions.jpg
- http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/france-in-the-year-2000-1899-1910/

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