Digital Should Complement, Not Replace, Books


Earlier this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that government will digitise the public school education system over the next six years by providing every learner in South Africa with digital workbooks and textbooks on a tablet device.

In light of the president’s remarks, Printing SA CEO Dr Abdool Majid Mahomed recounted his time at the University of Hong Kong, where although students were typically using technology to study in such a highly first-world context, books were still very much favoured, which illustrates that print is not in danger of being totally replaced by digital.

In addition, a New York Times article suggested that when children aged 3-5 were read to using an e-reader, they had a lower reading comprehension score than children being read to from a traditional story book. ‘Interestingly, the printed book market is bucking the trend when it comes to online versus print consumer purchasing behaviour, not only in South Africa, but also globally. More people are buying books, perhaps precisely because the experience of reading a book provides so much more than reading a book on a device,’ said Deon Joubert, country manager at Two Sides South Africa.

Neuroscience suggests that consuming printed material is both easier to understand and more memorable. One reason could be because printed material activates a different part of the brain than when reading something online. A study conducted by a Canadian company compared the effects of paper marketing (direct mail) with digital media (email and display ads). It found that the direct mail was easier to process mentally and required 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media.

The printing industry still has a vital role to play, and Printing SA embraces this moment and the opportunity to invite role players from the print, packaging, silkscreen, design, government and all industry stakeholders in the value chain including unions and the media to unpack this vital role and to debate the future of the industry in light of the ever changing landscape due to technological advancements taking place around the world.

These topics will be addressed at Printing SA’s upcoming sixth annual conference, taking place on 11 and 12 September at the Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, Gauteng, in conjunction with the Africa Print, Sign Africa, FESPA Africa, Africa LED and Modern Marketing Expos.

Some of the topics to be addressed include:

• Digitisation fear or fight? What role will digitisation play in the sustainability of print media and education during the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
• What is the future of the print, silkscreen and packaging value chain operating in the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
• How will the use of intelligent machinery like robots influence our job opportunities and training of operators and staff?
• How can we utilise new technology and still be innovative to sustain and grow?
• What collaboration can be developed between designers, print, packaging, publishing houses and journalists to grow our industry?

Speakers include:
• Leal Wright – Printing SA, President.
• Dr Abdool Majid Mohamed – Printing SA, CEO.
• Felleng Yende – FP&M Seta, CEO.
• Edward De Klerk – South African Typographical Union (SATU), General Secretary.
• Maggie Maluleke – South African Typographical Union (SATU), President.
• Sean Holt – FESPA, Executive Director.
• Dana Braithwaite – BMi Research South Africa, Lead Researcher.
• Dr Morne Mostert – Institute for Futures Research, Director.

To see the full programme and book your seat, click here.

Sponsors of the conference and dinner include:

– FP&M SETA – platinum sponsor.
– FESPA – platinum sponsor.
– Heidelberg – bronze sponsor.

PRINTING SA +27112871160

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