Last week I bought the latest issue of Esquire magazine. It is the first time I have ever purchased this magazine and I did it because I wanted to own a piece of history. To celebrate their 75th anniversary, Esquire created a cover featuring electronic ink. To be more precise, a small 2" x 5" LCD display is embedded into the paper cover, along with a battery, to create the first ever digital magazine cover. The screen blinks with the words "The 21st Century Begins Now" and flashes between white and gray. It is really very striking as it sits on my desk among other magazines and papers, none of which are blinking. The battery is supposed to last 90 days or so - mine is certainly still going strong after more than a week. So what does this have to do with labels? Plenty. I believe we are looking at the future of print right here. It is probably decades off but one day most product labels on a retail shelf will in fact be these LCD displays that will blink, play videos, connect with web sites and much more. Will paper labels ever go away? No, I believe there will be some product labels made with paper for decades or even centuries into the future simply because paper will be cheaper than electronics for a very long time. But I also expect the first electronic product labels to be appearing on high end products within a decade. Esquire magazine has proven it is possible to produce these thin screens on a large scale. With improvements in technology you might be buying cosmetics or prescription drugs with electronic product labels some time in the not too distant future.
Esquire Magazine Makes Printing History
This entry was posted on September 17, 2008.