Print Publication Enhanced with Augmented Reality

DESIGNERS. A previous post mentioned that one of the sessions at the PRINT13 conference Sept. 8-12 in Chicago will describe new ways to make print publications more interactive. Here’s a great example of a publisher who is already making it happen.

The 2013 PYM Annual Guide produced by the organization Plan Your Meetings (PYM) includes augmented reality (AR). Plan Your Meetings is a free educational and social resource for people who plan corporate meetings and events.

Editorial and advertising pages in the 2013 PYM Annual Guide are encoded with interactive experiences such as downloadable PDFs and videos, social media call-to-actions, and additional educational content. Readers can view the interactive content by scanning coded pages with the free PYM+ app can be downloaded to Apple or Android smartphones or tablets.

Here’s how it works: When readers of the PYM guide see an ad for a hotel that interests them, then can use the PYM+ app to download meeting room schematics, take a virtual tour of the facility, and book rooms. They don’t have to visit a website, or even turn the page.

Advertisers are intrigued by the ability to track how many people interact with their ads each month.

“They say print is dead, but that was before it could talk back and tell you who was reading it,” says PYM’s Vice President of Creative Kristi Casey Sanders. “Now advertisers can see how people engage with their print ads. By encoding SKUs in augmented content, they can identify how much traffic they’re receiving from print channels while interacting with our readers.”

Sanders will teach meeting and event organizers how to use augmented reality at the PlannerTech event Aug. 13 and the PYM LIVE event Aug. 22 in New York.

“Plan Your Meetings has a long history of developing innovative ways to connect people,” Sanders says. “Using augmented reality not only allows us to bring added value and ROI to our advertisers, it gives us the opportunity to provide additional educational content and educate planners using an emerging technology that has many exciting event applications.”

Both the print and digital editions of the annual guide include the augmented-reality content. In a blog post on the PYM website, Sanders notes that “Once an image is linked to augmented content, that content is activated whenever the image is scanned, no matter in which media it appears. So, the same image on a brochure, name tag, magazine, YouTube video, webpage, email, park bench, or billboard would trigger the same experience.”


Plan Your Meetings

Issu: Digital Edition of Plan Your Meetings Annual Guide with Augmented Reality

Blog Post by Kristi Casey Sanders:  What is Augmented Reality? What does it mean for you?

Adobe Reports Growing Use of Digital Publishing Suite

Adobe Digital Publishing Suite was developed to enable magazine, newspaper, book, and business publishers to efficiently publish content in print, on the web, and on tablets. Publishers also use it to attract new audiences and gain insight into readers’ content consumption habits and preferences.

According to Adobe, 100 million digital downloads of magazines, newspapers, corporate publications and apps created with Adobe® Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) have been delivered to readers and customers in just over two years.

Top publishers such as Fast Company, Hearst Corporation, National Geographic, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Rodale, Scientific American and Time Inc. are using DPS to publish digital editions of their publications. With the meteoric rise in tablet devices, brands including Renault, Sotheby’s International Realty, Stryker, and U.S. Soccer also use Digital Publishing Suite to power their brands’ mobile applications.

According to a Pew Research Center report released this month, one-third of American adults own a tablet, giving traditional and corporate publishers a big opportunity to reach their audiences. Continued innovations in Adobe Digital Publishing Suite enable publishers and brands to drive readership, commerce, and customer loyalty. The latest features of DPS are designed to entice readers to purchase by allowing them to view publications on a website, sample free articles within an issue, and have optimized reading experiences on iPhone 5 and Android devices.

“Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite is driving new business opportunities for publishers and corporate brands,” said Nick Bogaty, senior director of business development and marketing, Digital Publishing at Adobe.“The 100 million digital downloads powered by Adobe have made tablets and smartphones new mediums for publishers of every type of content.”

In addition to the major multinationals that use Digital Publishing Suite, smaller independents are using it too., New Adobe publishing customers include F+W Media/Interweave, Foreign Affairs and The New Republic. Accelerated readership and readers’ willingness to pay for content is fueling growth in digital magazines, and publishers are recognizing the potential to generate advertising dollars as well as incremental revenue with extra content.

“Esquire’s first priority on the iPad has always been to use its technological capabilities to meet our creative potential,” said David Granger, editor in chief of Esquire. “Since we started using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, we’ve been able to do more—more funny stuff, more crazy interactivity—in a stable environment. And we’ve been able to grow—bringing our Big Black Book to the iPad and, more important, creating Esquire Weekly, our digital-first, tablet-only magazine. There’s more to do with the tools and we look forward to doing it.”

The growth of brands and corporations using Digital Publishing Suite to accelerate their mobile marketing has increased 30% in the last 6 months alone. From sales tools and training materials to brand engagement, retail catalogs and customer communications, businesses are using mobile devices to engage their customers and shoppers with immersive, interactive apps. Compared to traditional web channels, these apps deliver immediacy, ongoing communication, and extensive information for purchase considerations,

“Adobe Digital Publishing Suite allowed us to launch our new crossover SUV with a splash, engaging our customers with app content on iPad, iPhone, Android tablet and desktop computer,” said Boris Petrovitch Njegosh, brand designer at Renault.


Adobe Digital Publishing

Pew Research Center Survey: Tablet Ownership


Art Photography eZine Shows Work of Unsung Photographers

PHOTOGRAPHERS. Here’s one more good reason why it’s vital to show your very best work online: You might get discovered by the publishers of a new, independent art-photography eZine called VIEW. Curated by photographer Alon Koppel, View is not built around a theme. Instead, Koppel looks for an eclectic range of good photography from little-known photographers from around the world. Most of work featured in View was discovered online.

In addition to being a photographer, Koppel is a partner in the multimedia design studio FusionLab. The studio specializes in visual communications for mobile media and the web. Clients include Condé Nast, The New York Landmarks Conservancy, The Municipal Art Society of New York, Architectural Digest, The Authors Guild, and Thomson

FusionLab launched View to help demonstrate some of the visual possibilities of the iPad. Each issue of View takes full advantage of the iPad’s unique format and ability to display images with stunning clarity and interactivity. The View iPad app is available as a free download from Apple’s iTunes app store.

The creative team at FusionLab used a pre-release version of Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite to produce View. Adobe Digital Publishing Suite is the same software that Wired
and The New Yorker magazines used to create their digital magazines. According to FusionLab, the Adobe Publishing Suite allows a layout that is visually gorgeous and easy to use. Their designers report that the Digital Publishing Suite works quite seamlessly with Adobe’s CS5 software, InDesign in particular.

The first issue of View was launched in March; the second issue was recently released. View #2 includes: the bold New York City street photography of Todd Gross; Mark Powell’s vibrant Mexico photos; Australian artist David Thomas’ series of painting on photos; and Satoshi Sakurai’s powerful photos of Fukushima. There are also photos of
the wall dividing Israel and Palestine as seen (and decorated) from the Palestinian side; wonderful photographs taken through The Modern Story, a program that gives underserved children in India cameras to document their world; and SPANA’s pictures of the developing-world’s beasts-of-burden.

View magazine directly supports US English, Bokmål, Norwegian, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian.



VIEW Magazine App

Adobe Digital Publishing Suite


Self-Publishers Can Use to Produce iPad Publications

iBuildApp ScreenShot of iPad AppsIf you would like to produce your own iPad magazine, catalog, or book app, check out the free iPad Publishing solution announced by Silicon Valley-based start-up The company  has created templates that make it much less complicated for authors and other non-coders to format and publish content to mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

The solution was designed to deliver a good experience for the reader. “We believe that a digital magazine or newspaper should feel like a media app, not like a magazine reader,” said Rafael Soultanov, of “When someone swipes from page to page they can choose different stories to read. Images are vivid, and video is optimized. If a reader wants to comment or share what they’re reading, they just tap a button.”

The fully functional publishing app takes about 2 to 3 hours to create and publish content. Just copy/paste content into the pre-made templates for the iPad for free. With the templates, self-publishers can focus on their content and leave the formatting, publishing and distribution to iBuildApp.

The company plans to integrate the iBuildApp iPad solution with other CMS platforms such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. It will simply require snippets of code from iBuildApp to be inserted into the CMS code.

Unlike other services, iBuildApp Self-Publishing Solution provides authors with a free online editor, free formatting and design templates, and integrated publishing for iPad and Web.

Founded in 2010, iBuildApp is headquartered in Foster City, California. Their goal is to make it easy and affordable for businesses of all sizes to build and manage mobile apps.

iBuildApp’s first product was a do-it-yourself platform for making iPhone/Android apps without knowledge of coding. As of the end of March, the iBuildApp solution had been used to produce about 2,000 of the iPhone apps available on iTunes.

LINKS iPad Self-Publishing Solution


How The Transformation of Publishing Might Affect The Careers of Creatives

WRITERS. DESIGNERS. At the inaugural Publishing Xchange Conference held in Washington, DC this week, some of the best and brightest analysts of the printing and publishing industries discussed some of the technologies that are totally transforming how content is delivered and consumed.  Their advice was intended primarily to help owners of traditional printing and publishing companies figure out how to revamp their business models.

Publishing Xchange ConferenceA lot of the advice given at the conference can also apply to creative professionals who sell writing, design, or photography services to publishers. You may want to adjust your own career objectives and business plans once you consider what the publishing landscape might look like two or three years from now.

A Quick Overview
Here’s what I learned in three different sessions: The consumer is king. Content is king. Data is king.

So which is it? Publishing’s future will probably be ruled by all three. Feedback and data supplied by consumers will dictate the type and quality of content that gets produced and delivered.

Most speakers agreed that the iPad is a real game-changer. Its full effects on printing and publishing are only beginning to be understood. For one thing, media tablets such as the iPad open up whole new ways for publishers and advertisers to engage with readers, measure their behavior, and deliver targeted advertising. Here are some of the other themes that emerged from the discussions.

The publishing universe is expanding very rapidly and in unpredictable directions. Today, anyone and everyone can publish, distribute, and monetize content. New groups of publishers include corporations (who once supplied most of the advertising revenue to magazine publishers) and authors (who supply the content from which book publishers earn their revenues).

The demand for content is growing. Smartphones and iPads have made the Internet portable. Because we are connected all the time everywhere we go, we expect instant and constant access to entertainment, news, educational material, social networks, product information, and advice that can help us make more informed choices.

 Print is not dead, but it will be regarded differently in the future. Books and magazines will be printed in shorter runs, with more visual content and higher quality paper. Printed pieces will be viewed as more permanent, physical objects. In cross-media marketing, various forms of printed communications will be used in coordination with digital tools.

More businesses are adopting data-driven cross-media marketing. Every individual has their own preference about how and when they want to be reached.  Cross-media marketing helps ensure that the right message reaches the right person through the right medium at the right moment when they’re ready to make a buying decision.

Data is becoming increasingly important. The quality and freshness of the data collected and stored will determine the cost-effectiveness of cross-media marketing. With the right data, marketers can reduce the overall volume of marketing materials that must be produced and distributed.

Magazine publishers and advertisers will use more sophisticated data analytics. Instead of simply measuring how many people are reading content, they will want data that tells them more about each individual who clicks on the content.

Businesses now realize that people visit sites for different reasons. The key is to determine which 10 to 15% of site visitors can be converted into paying customers.

Publishers who use Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite to produce magazines for the iPad and other tablet computers will be able to get a real-time picture of how readers are interacting with each story or ad in the publication. Advertising can be delivered based on the demographics and interests of the reader.

How publishers sell advertising will change. Publishers will no longer sell ad space. Instead, they might sell advertising based on the type of content that will be published.

Currently, ads must be reformatted from standard PDFs into a multitude of formats for tablets and smartphones. This is a challenge that Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite also helps address.

Over the next few years, publishers will continue to derive less of their income from print advertising. So, they will need to find supplementary or alternative sources of income. For example, the National Geographic Society produces TV programs, educational resources, DVDs, games, maps, travel guides, museum exhibits and much more.

Branding matters. Consumers will turn to the brands they trust to consistently provide the type of content they want. It doesn’t matter if the brand originated as a newspaper, magazine, book, or TV show, because the distinctions between media types are disappearing.

One dilemma that digital-content producers face is determining where to reset the boundaries between editorial content and advertising. To what extent can they integrate advertising into their content without losing the brand trust and loyalty of their readers?

The rules of the game are still being written. Technology is changing so quickly that printing and publishing may be in a permanent state of transition. Constant innovation will be required in terms of products, services, workflow, and business models. Consider this: Three of the most disruptive influences in the communications field (Facebook, Twitter, and the iPad) were all introduced within the last five years. We can’t even predict what new technologies might arise over the next five years.

New types of businesses will emerge from the chaos. Some publishers will continue to aggregate and distribute branded content. Others might set up systems that make it easier for individuals to publish and distribute their own content. Still other companies are making it easy for publishers in the U.S. to outsource routine digital-imaging and content-production tasks to companies in India or other nations.

Advice for Publishers and Print Providers
Here are some of the tips that were given to publishers and print-service providers. (And yes, some of it also applies to creative professionals who sell their services to publishers.)

  • Remain flexible.
  • Be willing to try new things.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail at some things.
  • Use data extensively (both for targeting your messaging and measuring what works).
  • If you find something that works, keep doing more of it.
  • Use your “artistic vision” to look for opportunities that others haven’t yet recognized.

Advice for Creatives
I’ll be following up with some of the outstanding, insightful analysts who spoke at the Publishing Xchange Conference to see if they have any tips to add to this list, but here are a few of my own thoughts:

Never stop learning. Printing and publishing companies will need staff employees and freelancers who are willing and able to continually learn new skills. Remain curious about the many different ways a new technology might be used.

Demonstrate your value to employers in a positive way. When creatives are perceived as being “difficult” or resistant to change, they risk being the first to be let go when a publisher decides to outsource more tasks to workers in other countries. The more you are viewed as a supportive and talented team player, the more likely it is that you will be reassigned to more challenging projects, or asked to help incorporate the next round of technological innovations.

Prepare to have your work more closely measured. If you don’t already publish a blog, start one. Blogging is a great way to learn the basics of analytics. You may experience an almost Pavlovian response after seeing those first encouraging spikes in traffic and favorable feedback to certain posts. Analytics can be weirdly motivating.

Devote chunks of your time to creating and marketing some personal projects. This can be a stress-relieving way to fulfill your need for self-expression and create work that reflects your vision and capabilities. But it can also make you appreciate some of the hard realities of developing a profitable business.

Where’s the Humanity?
At one point during an in-depth discussion of analytics, one brave soul stood up and asked: “Won’t all this emphasis on data inhibit creativity?”

Depending on the nature of your employer or client, an over-reliance on reader data might temporarily stifle some creativity (and limit the ability to reach out to new readers). But publishers and printers will constantly need to experiment with new ideas.

And, my well-honed editor’s “intuition” tells me that data analytics will only confirm what creatives already know: People want content that reflects and respects our humanity. Consumers will engage with content that inspires, surprises, delights, amuses, intrigues, tantalizes, entertains, persuades, clarifies, educates, or evokes joy or wonder.

If you can prove that you’re exceptionally good at storytelling, crafting powerful imagery, stirring emotional connections, or stimulating reader participation, then your talents will definitely be in demand.

Future posts on this blog will delve into these topics in more detail, calling attention to some of the remarkable speakers from organizations such as Outsell, InfoTrends, The Seybold Report, What They Think?, and the IDEAlliance + IPA.

Kudos to Publishing Xchange Chair David Zwang and Questex Media Group for pulling together such a thought-provoking conference.

Convert Great Content into Printed and Digital Magazines

Photo: HP news

WRITERS. If you want to monetize some of that great content you have developed for blogs, webinars, or white papers, consider converting it into a magazine and publishing it through HP’s MagCloud web-based self-publishing service.  Interested readers can either order a print version of your magazine or a digital edition. The digital editions can be read on a PC, Mac, WebOS, iOS, Android or other device that supports PDF files. Once a month, MagCloud pays publishers any collected royalties over $10. Payments are made via PayPal. You can check your sales online anytime. 

The MagCloud service isn’t limited to bloggers. Nor does your publication have to be a periodical. For example:

  • Photographers and artists can create catalogs for exhibition or art shows.
  • Freelance writers can produce bound, hard-copy portfolios of their clips.
  • Designers can produce print-on-demand brochures and catalogs for clients or their own products.
  • Traditional magazine publishers can produce special editions or republish content from back issues.

Here are the six steps involved in publishing and selling through MagCloud:

Create Your Magazine or Catalog
You can set up the pages of your magazine using any software that will produce a letter-sized, multi-page PDF. How-To Guides on the MagCloud website explain how to produce your publication using Adobe InDesign, Quark Xpress, Apple Pages, or Microsoft Word or Publisher.

After you upload your PDF (or Flickr photo set) to MagCloud, fill out a description, and order a proof. At this point, you will be the only one who can see it.

MagCloud will print, bind, and mail a proof to you.

If changes are needed, you can upload a new PDF and order another proof. Once you are satisfied with the proof, mark the issue as “published” and set the price for both the print and digital version. For every copy that is printed, MagCloud charges $0.20/page. You can specify any markup above the production costs. For digital issues, you earn 70% of the selling price.

Buy and Sell
When the issue is published, people can buy it through the MagCloud website or download it with the MagCloud iPad app or via digital PDF on  their PC or Mac. Buyers will need to use a credit card or PayPal account to order a copy.

Print and Mail
When someone buys an issue, MagCloud prints, binds, and ships to the buyer. A Ship to Group capability enables you to have the magazine sent to a specified group of people.

Cover of AirPlaneista

One publisher who uses MagCloud is Dan Pimentel, Airplanista Magazine editor and founder. He has been in and around the fields of journalism, graphic design, photography, magazines, and newspapers since 1974. He has been a licensed private pilot since 1996.

He publishes Airplanista magazine ( once a month, with the tagline “Sometimes serious. Sometimes humorous. Always unpredictable.”  The content includes a mix of feature stories, commentary and photography of interest to anyone in the aviation business, including general aviation pilots, aircraft owners, and professional pilots. In a press release announcing that the availablility of iPad-readable versions of Airplanista, Pimentel notes that feedback from buyers of the iPad version has been very favorable. Readers consider it a rich, very visual experience.  

HP’s Andrew Bolwell notes that MagCloud has enabled thousands of magazine publishers to sell hundreds of thousands of magazine issues. He says the newest services provide readers the freedom to consumer the targeted content they want in the format they want, whether it be print or digital.