International Print Day (IPD), which took place on 19 October 2016, was a celebration of the variety and vivacity of print around the world that manifested itself in a surge of global sharing and engagement, with more than 30 million timeline impressions in 24 hours.
From sole traders to multinationals, more than 6500 tweets were sent by more than 1000 participants. While #IPD16 trended for three hours in the United Kingdom, #PrintSmart, the theme of the day, was prominent as print professionals, commentators, artists, schools and public bodies found new and creative ways to celebrate this diverse industry.
The purpose of the day was to connect with the print community around the world, as well as stakeholders, students and potential buyers on a mission of awareness and engagement about print, paper and associated products.
Deborah Corn, the Principal of Print Media Centre and Founder of International Print Day, stated, ‘It was amazing to see the print community fully embrace and subsequently use social media like true marketing professionals this year. There was an increased use of photos and videos to communicate about our sector’s unique abilities and even more imaginative ways of starting conversations about printing all over the world.’
International Print Day was vigorously received by the print community. Jim Hamilton, Group Director of world-respected analyst body InfoTrends, highlighted the visceral attraction of print in his reflection, ‘I like the spirit behind International Print Day. It’s a passion for taking an idea and turning it into reality by applying inks, toners, coatings, and varnishes to any imaginable substrate and then cutting, creasing, folding, and gluing it all into a final piece. I participate because I love print and I want to share that passion with the world.’
This sentiment was conveyed by participants on every continent, with individual countries playing particularly prominent roles.
The South Africa Reserve Bank renewed its participation this year, becoming the latest high-profile institution to convey its interest in this growing event. Also in South Africa, Midrand-based Printing SA celebrated IPD by visiting Phomolong Secondary School, where it taught 40 pupils how to screen-print as part of a skills transfer initiative.
In Indonesia, Suhendra Marzuki, Chief Editor and CEO of magazine PrintPack Indonesia and Vice-President of industry organisation Kopigrafika, rallied the Indonesia Print and Media Association, Indonesian Packaging Federation, key sponsor Astragraphia Xprint Indonesia and three more associations to hold a key Hotspot in Jakarta.
In the UK, the event was supported by a number of parties, including industry editors Susan Wright and James Matthews-Paul. Wright, who is Editorial Director of Earth Island Publishing, reflects, ‘International Print Day is an exciting, positive and enlightening day, and so it was great to connect with people around the world who feel the same way about print on paper as we do. Every year we learn something new. We meet new people and companies. We see the heights of print innovation and creativity, and we genuinely feel the love of print globally.’
‘Participating in International Print Day gave HP the opportunity to showcase our customers’ smart, innovative work and demonstrate the tangible impact print has on individuals,’ commented Jacob Shamis, Americas Market Development Manager for Indigo, PageWide Web Press and Scitex, HP Inc. ‘We enjoyed sharing in the print community’s passion for printing.’
International Print Day is the perfect example of how an industry can harness the power of social media collectively. Andy Rae, Senior Vice President at Heidelberg Americas, highlights this, ‘At Heidelberg, we consider social media to be an integral way to engage with our customers and build meaningful relationships by sharing valuable content and highlighting trends in the print industry.’
While according to Nevi Laketa, Communications Manager at Australian supplier KW Doggett Fine Paper, ‘This year was another social frenzy with posts going up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn throughout the day. IPD is fun. It’s easy. And it connects people from all around the world.’ Laketa and her company joined local participants Fuji Xerox Australia, Whirlwind Print and Media Super, and contributors in New Zealand, in launching #IPD16 as it hit the dateline this year.
Much more than being a global conversation, however, IPD has tangible benefits to print and its customers. In honor of this year’s #PrintSmart theme, American software provider DaVinci Designer donated its award-winning online design tool and 3D proofer to a select number of design institutes across the USA. Valued at $100,000, the DaVinci software can show students the immediate impact of the folds and die-lines on a package design to guide their knowledge and understanding of packaging science all instrumental in helping future participants in our market become more invested.
‘International Print Day may be an annual, 24-hour event but every day we have the opportunity and responsibility, as members of the printing community, to spread the good word about our industry,’ concluded Corn. ‘Not only is IPD about all the amazing products, services and technologies print contributes to world but also a vision for an entire business sector that is also a community of people. The print industry is now realising that ‘business-to-business’ really means ‘people-to-people’. IPD is a great enabler to make that reality more prominent and accessible for printers and their customers around the world.’
Next year’s International Print Day has been scheduled for 6.00PM ET 17 October to 6.00PM ET 18 October, with a theme and more details to be announced in due course.