Nils Enlund, Co-editor and Chairman of the Program committee
The volume that you now hold in your hands contains the scientific and technical research contributions presented at the 37th International Research Conference of iarigai, the International Association of Research Organizations for the Information, Media and Graphic Arts Industries, held in Montreal, Canada, on September 12-15, 2010. The contributions for this conference were selected by a scientific committee of international experts through a double-blind review process.
The yearly iarigai conference is the main international forum for scientific exchange in the print and media technology field. The proceedings provide an excellent overview of current industry trends and research foci among universities and research organizations in the field.
In 2009, the main emerging research trend was the challenges of creating and maintaining sustainability in production, distribution and consumption of media content and products. In 2010, this trend continues strongly. Scientific studies address the problems of assessing the carbon footprint of newspaper production, performing comparative life-cycle analyses of alternative media channels, and developing sustainable strategies for media companies.
Another trend that was already apparent in 2009 is now visibly gathering strength: investigations of the user experience when consuming media content and products. How does the feel of a paper quality between your fingertops affect your attitudes toward the printed product and its content? How does the use of special effects influence the credibility and attractivity of the media product? How should we design products in order to address consumer preferences? In an environment where the competition between media forms is growing stronger by the day, answering these and similar questions is becoming increasingly important.
A third strong trend within the research community is the development of innovative uses of printing technology. As printing of text and images is loosing ground due to the success of screen-based information, there is a surge of interest in alternative uses for the already existing and fine-tuned printing technology. There is an increasing body of research on functional printing: printing of electronic components, batteries, and circuits; the use of nanotechnologies; printing on non-conventional substrates; thermochromic prints. This development is paralleled by research on new types of paper and substrates for functional printed products. These areas hold tremendous opportunities. Print is definitely not dying.
In addition to the unfolding and expanding research topics above, this volume presents an abundance of new and exciting work on topics that may not have the same novelty value but form the solid basis of print technology research - questions of print and reproduction quality, color management, ink and paper characteristics, printing productivity, and standardisation.
The International Association of Research Organizations for the
Information, Media and Graphic Arts Industries
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