The printing press was invented in 1440. The fax machine, over 500 years later. But while print’s still going strong, no one’s doing any faxing these days. And since that first drop of ink hit the page, so much office tech has come and gone. Things that felt so new and exciting at the time, only to feel retro just a few years later. Like these…
Ecards instead of paper cards
Takes us back to a period in the early 2000s when everything was “e” something. Anything even vaguely internet-related felt new and “now”. Not even the humble greeting card was safe. Cue lots of brands sending out emails instead of physical Holiday Cards. It was fun at the time, but now everything’s online, it feels a lot more meaningful to open a proper printed card instead.
All those discs
There were a few years where the floppy disc was king. You couldn’t fit much on them (even in the 90s, software came on multiple “floppies”) but you couldn’t escape them. In offices, homes, everywhere. Then eventually the CD took over, only to be overtaken by the internet. That’s a lot of plastic waste, with much of it unreadable by today’s tech. But a Postcard printed decades ago? Still a pleasure to look at. (And takes up less storage space, too.)
Weird cable connectors
This one’s quite nerdy, but it continues to haunt many an office. When you try to hook up your laptop to a monitor and… can’t find a single slot that fits. Because as things get slimmer and smaller, so do the things that connect them. With numerous types of USB alone. And if you don’t have the right dongle to connect them, good luck. It shows why print has stood the test of time – it’s naturally “backwards compatible” because it’s so simple.
Ever since Minority Report came out (over two decades ago! five years before the iPhone!) the dream of swooshy, ephemeral screens has been planted. It’s just… never seemed to happen as a “thing”. Touchscreens got big, sure, so we have the swooshy part, but not the holographic bit. Not outside of retro rock concerts, anyway. There’s still time for this one to get good, but it already feels oddly retro. Like something from Star Wars (1977!).
Digital business card replacements
There’s often a new spin on this one, and none of them ever seem to take off. The idea can sound promising – just scan or tap to swap details. Oh, but you have to connect on Bluetooth first. Then download an app. Change a few things in settings… and by that time could have just swapped actual business cards. There might one day be a decent take on this, but right now print does it simpler and better.
Want to create something simple, beautiful and memorable? Print it. There’s always something new you can do with it. And you’ll never have to worry about updates, adaptors or dongles.
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