Print Hi-Tech: January & February
Printing, digital, and marketing convergence
Interesting news and case studies involving printing and digital technologies covered in my regular ‘Hi-Tech’ category.
Today: Pantone’s top 10 colors for spring to make us a little happier; plastic packaging made from thin air; the World-as-Organism 3D philosophy discussed in Davos; interactive 21st-century books created in Ukraine.
Pantone’s Top 10 Colors: Spring 2016
Pantone’s top colors for spring are meant to make us a little happier. Interestingy, this is clearly a unisex palette: spring and summer colors transcend cultural and gender norms.
Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute: “Influenced by the world of art, new global doors opening, and the desire to disconnect from technology and unwind, designers this season have gravitated toward a palette that is first and foremost calming.”
Number-one color for women and men is soothing Rose Quartz. “A persuasive yet gentle tone” radiates compassion and a sense of composure during the busy but lighthearted spring and summer months.
More vibrant colors can be attributed to consumers’ appreciation for nature’s influence in urban design continuing to inspire designers. Among other top colors are Peach Echo, Serenity, Limpet Shell, Lilac Gray and Iced Coffee.
Plastic packaging made from thin air
Eco-conscious consumers are interested in packaging that is recyclable, renewable or made from sustainable resources. According to European Bioplastics, the market for bioplastics will increase from around 1.6 million tons in 2013 to approximately 6.7 million tons in 2018.
After more than 10 years of research and development, Newlight Technologies, a California-based company, found a way to convert methane-based greenhouse gas emissions into AirCarbon material.
According to the company, cost-efficient AirCarbon matches the performance of petroleum-based plastics. It can be used in extrusion, blown film, cast film, thermoforming, fiber spinning, and injection molding processes. Newlight is currently working with more than 60 companies, making all sorts of products, from cell phone cases, to plastic chairs, to bottle caps.
The World-as-Organism: 3D printing at Davos Conference
When describing the impact of 3D printing, the phrase “Industry 4.0” is widely used now. The term embraces a number of contemporary automation, data exchange, and manufacturing technologies.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Neri Oxman, an architect and designer, introduced the World-as-Organism 3D philosophy, which is meant to supersede the World as Machine. “Novel technologies emerging from the Digital Age are enabling engineering and production at Mother Nature’s quantum scale, ushering in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: the Biological Age”, her essay says.
The design is no longer constrained by traditional manufacturing technologies. From now on, designers are introduced to ‘Material Ecology’. Computational design, digital fabrication, synthetic biology, the environment, and the material itself become inseparable and harmonized dimensions of design. And that could mean a new age, where products and structures will be able to grow and adapt.
Made in Ukraine: Interactive Books from Gutenbergz
In 2011, Gutenbergz digital publishing project was created in Ukrainian Odessa. Its founder and CEO Volodymyr Usov decided to offer a different concept of storytelling for international readers.
Its first release, Sherlock Holmes, appeared in AppStore in December 2012 and became a top app in China and the U.S. In 2013, Gutenbergz successfully launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Gadgetarium project: a printed version bundled with augmented reality elements and an interactive book app for mobile devices. The immersive story features 23 of the world’s greatest gadgets, from the wheel and up to Google Glass, and comes with 54 fully interactive pages.
In 2014, Gutenbergz together with UNESCO created an interactive version of Blood and Hope by Samuel Pesaro. “For us, the augmented reality, as well as other technologies, is primarily a tool for creating fascinating stories. With the help of technology, we are trying to increase the person involvement in the process of interaction with the content,” says Volodymyr Usov.