The Dawn of the Digital Optimism
The beginning of the Digital Revolution can be traced back to the 2nd half of the 20th century. It brought about sweeping changes in digital computing and communication technology. The digital revolution has also opened up the easy availability of unlimited information to ordinary people, marking the beginning of the new ‘Information Age’.
The advances in computer technology continued to spur innovations both in the digital and the print media. The prepress operations of printing, that included typesetting and graphics design, became increasingly computerized and automated. Several software companies vied with one another in bringing out new applications to computerize the technology behind the prepress operations, which is now called desktop publishing.
By mid-1990s this trend towards desktop publishing began to get the material ready for printing (the pre-press stage) relying more and more on digital technology. The pages of a book were printed almost in the same way as photocopying using toner instead of ink. Overall, the printing operations became much faster and less laborious.
It was the time when digital media enthusiasts were filled with unbounded enthusiasm and predicted the complete supersession of the print media by the digital media.
The Undying Endurance of the Print Media
However, the print media still continues to survive unabated despite the decades-old predictions of the doomsayers and the furious onslaught of the digital media. In fact the print and the digital media are complementary to each other in disseminating the information that continues to explode relentlessly. The advances in digital technology also augment the printing technology and innovations are cropping up in both the industries.
The E-book Revolution
The term e-book refers to ‘electronic book’, which is a book-length publication entirely in digital format. Usually, an e-book is made available through the internet, but it is also distributed through CD-ROMs or through other electronic means. An e-book can be read on a computer or by means of other portable e-book reading devices such as Amazon’s Kindle, Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Kobo eReader etc. These electronic reading devices attempt to give you the same experience as of reading a printed book. Read more about the other benefits of Flip Books.
Print Media and the Birth of the Modern Civilization
Before the advent of the printing press books were elaborately and artistically handwritten, which confined the readership to an extremely few select individuals. The invention of the printing press broke the barriers of such extremely limited literacy. Multiple copies of books began to be printed. The cheaper availability of plentiful books motivated more and more people to be literate. The mass production and distribution of books, magazines, newspapers and other printed media eventually helped in education much of the global population.
Since the beginning, the printing press has often been improved and modernized throughout the ages. However, the mechanics of the printing press remained basically the same till late 20th century. Side by side with the printing industry, the advances in graphic design contributed to the improvements in art of printing.
The steam-powered printing presses began to be used in the early 19th century. That sppeded up the printing process and gave a big boost to the increase in the number of printed books.
In mid-20th century, European book production had risen to over 200,000 titles per year. The total number of books and printed has now grown astronomical. As per Google a total of about 130 million distinct titles were printed up to the year 2010 throughout the world.
Digital and Print Media Seen as Complementary to Each Other
The digital technology has impacted modern civilization in several ways. It can instantly transmit information across the globe over internet. The developments in computer hardware and software technologies have enabled printing to scale new heights. A countless number of online books, magazines, newspapers and other publications have proliferated hinting at the possibility of the world going completely paperless. But the prospect of digital media completely replacing the print media is still remote.
The digital media is awesome in its speed and flexibility. With the availability of a vast stock of photography, font choices, clip arts, animations, sound and video clips, etc. the art of graphic design has been expanded enormously.
The Convergence of the Digital and the Print Technologies
Printed material is a physical entity which you can carry with you. Glossy magazines keep you engaged with pretty pictures of your interest and which you can flip through and view casually while waiting at a subway stop.
However, the latest technology makes the digital media simulate all such physical features of the print media.
The new online tools such as FlipHTML5, page flipping software, FlipBook, PUB HTML5, digital publishing software, free online magazine maker etc. have introduced the look and feel features of printed literature into the soft copy versions of digital media. These you can carry and browse on your hand-held devices wherever you go.