What’s a trade show for anyway?

Business conference, trade show, industry event, whatever you call it, taking the time from your busy workday to feed your brain, inspire your creativity or meet your colleagues often seems self-indulgent. But I ask you – is it really?

Yes, I have ulterior motives for this post. Visual Media Alliance’s annual conference is next Thursday, April 26 in San Francisco! Called “Unveiled”, it will focus on the magic of design and marketing technology. People have been telling us all year how they look forward to this event. When they saw the programming they were inspired by the breath and relevancy of the subject matter and anxious to get updated on all the quickly evolving technologies available for marketers, designers, and communicators of all sorts.

It’s about this time every year that we ask the question: Will we have enough space? Did we select the right speakers? Exhibitor? Location? Date?

Have you looked at the line up? Does it resonate for you? Have you figured out how to convince your boss (even if it’s you) that the one-day investment will be paid back quickly with inspired creativity, new perspectives, productivity and knowledge? So what if you have a good time along the way. That’s one of the tricks of a great education – making it fun!

Please share your thoughts and join us next week. www.visualmedia012.com

Augmented Reality And The Print Industry

by Lester Madden, Augmented Planet

Once in a while I get the odd augmented reality goody. Never a shiny new device from Apple or Google begging me to test their latest offering, but still the odd package works its way through the post.

Sappi Standard

Sappi Standard

This week the mail man brought me the Sappi Guide to Design and Print known as The Standard. The guide is a very well designed book aimed at designers and how they can include special effects in their printed works. The company behind the guide, Sappi bill themselves as a fine print company who have embraced both technology and augmented reality world.

Before I get to the augmented reality stuff, I have to say the book from Sappi is amazing. Each page in the guide focuses on a different type of special effect you can achieve with various printing techniques. This includes holograms and textured paper that enable you to feel a picture. One example of textured paper is an image of a footprint in the sand. Touching the picture you can feel the grains of sand beneath your fingers which adds a new dimension to what you are seeing. You can download a copy of the guide from the Sappi website here, but nothing is a substitute for holding it in your hands.

Anyway enough of that, what makes the book interesting from our perspective is augmented reality. Here Sappi have teamed up with Metaio to create a junaio browser experience for mobile user and a desktop experience. Both campaigns focus on a super hero called Super Dude who appears in 3D when you present the page to either your webcam or your mobile devices camera. Once Super Dude has appeared your goal is to keep him clear of trains, dinosaurs and whatever else superheroes need to avoid.

Combining augmented reality and print gives readers a totally unique experience as we have seen before, but it’s good to see it being embraced by the print industry, especially when a campaign is aimed at both mobile and desktop users. For some reason a lot of designers think it’s one or the other.

–Daniel Dejan will be presenting Standard #5 at the VisualMedia 012 conference April 26, in San Francisco.