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THE ROLE OF PRINT IN PRESERVING THE PAST

Tuesday, 26 May 2015 | By Gerry Mulvaney

 

By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing

In 1991 I took my children to the famous Wembley stadium to see our favourite football team Nottingham Forest play in the FA Cup Final of that year. It was not a happy day as we lost to Tottenham Hotspur 2-1. But I wanted a permanent memento of the occasion, so my wife who was left at home while the four of us went to London, recorded the game on our television VHS video recorder.

I have still got the tape sitting on a shelf in my office but the only problem is that our VHS video recorder gave up the ghost some years ago. Now I don’t have a way of reliving the miserable afternoon any more. A good thing, according to my children who don’t want to wallow in nostalgia. Fortunately I have still got the printed programme from the afternoon as a more permanent record of the occasion.

This same theme of redundant technology was picked up recently by Vint Cerf – one of the founding fathers of the Internet and a current Google Vice-President. Cerf made the point that while we are generating and storing an increasing amount of personal data on our smartphones and other devices, we need to be aware that without the means to read and display the data, it will become as useless as my VHS video tape.

Dr Vinton Cerf

‘Black hole coming’... Dr Vinton Cerf, co-founder of the internet, warns all could be lost in a digital black hole. (Source: News Corp Australia)

Smartphones in particular are changed every couple of years and it won’t be long before today’s Apple, Samsung or HTC device go the same way as VHS and Betamax video recorders. Cerf recommends that we take a step back and plan how to deal with the redundancy. One idea he proposes is to store the content, the application and the operating system in the Cloud before it’s too late.

At a science conference in San Jose, he went as far as to describe the 21st century as a potential “digital dark age”. He argued that without taking precautions today to preserve our data and the means to read it, we are in danger of consigning our memories to a black hole, losing it forever for future generations.

The Longevity of Printed Ink on Paper

Back to ink and paper. Of course the longevity of the printed image is just one of the characteristics that Landa’s technologists are examining. They are exploring features such as the durability, rub resistance and colour fastness of the Nanography® process. They have to be certain that these will meet the exacting standards of our customers as well as the various legislative and environmental regulators around the world. A large team are employed at the Landa Digital Printing labs in Rehovot, Israel, to ensure that the durability of Nanographic Printing® technology matches and exceeds contemporary printing processes.

Nanography<sup>®</sup> printing

Prints produced using the Nanography® process

My 1991 FA Cup Final programme is still in pristine condition and apart from a few tears shed on it during the journey home, it looks as good as the day it left the press. There is no built in redundancy with print and stored in a dry and dark drawer in my office, it will still be readable in another hundred years.


Image sources:
Lobby: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Official-Matchday-Programme-Nottingham-Tottenham/dp/B0041RP6DE
Main page: http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/google-executive-and-co-founder-of-the-internet-vint-cerf-says-you-need-to-start-printing-everything-out/story-fnjwmwrh-1227221136776

Landa S10 - Printing Press