7 February 2012
Print is on New York think tank's Top 100 Things to Watch list
NEW YORK, NY—JWT Intelligence, a think tank headquartered in New York, released its 100 Things to Watch in 2012 list not long ago and there's a few items in it that point to a rise in print this year.

Those items include printing of postcards from digital files. JWT noted Sincerely's Postagram app and Postcard on the Run "allow vacationers and others to turn snapshots into snail-mailed postcards."

Also, "online lives" will show up in print this year, added JWT. "The web holds our virtual memories and our archives, a huge store of information that's being extended into the physical realm as people come to feel a need for more tangible things," reads the Top 100 list, which adds Deutsche Post DHL's Social Memories project allows Facebook data to become a book. Additionally, Printstagram turns social media photo-sharing app content into stickers, flipbooks and magnets while Little Printer, a "thermal printer that turns smartphone data into receipt-sized prints", is coming this year said JWT.

JWT also sees an increase of handwritten notes sent through the mail, noting U.K. retailer John Lewis reported a 79% year-over-year increase in writing-paper sales in mid-2011. "The further from email the better, with letterpress-printed cards and embossed papers especially popular," noted JWT.

But a little further into the report is a mention that tablets will replace paper, namely on-board paper manuals [U.S. airlines are apparently now allowed to use tablets instead of paper manuals, checklists and charts.] Also, "Businesses and governments are trading paper for iPads and other tablets, saving money and promoting efficiency," reads the Top 100. Dutch city councillors are reportedly using iPads instead of paper documents, while some U.S. cities and states are considering doing the same.

The renewed interest in printed material is tied to a 2012 trend of "objectifying objects", according to JWT. "As objects get replaced by digital/virtual counterparts, people are fetishizing the physical and the tactile," reads the JWT 10 Trends for 2012 executive summary. "As a result we'll see more 'motivational objects', items that accompany digital property."
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