The Image GroupThe Image Group

By Adam Norman

Augmented Reality is Revolutionizing Print

The print industry is changing. As technology continues to evolve and trends fluctuate, the printing industry is finding new ways to connect with users by bridging traditional print with digital technologies. The combination of the two means that there are better print options available to you that can captivate your audience and help you stand out from the crowd.

What is AR?

Augmented Reality (AR) is a digital innovation that has been developed over the past 20 years. AR integrates digital information with live video and a user’s environment in real time. Instead of just viewing a greeting card or poster, AR opens possibilities for creating an immersive experience that redefines what we once knew as print. The printed piece comes to life and bridges the gap between what is physical and digital.

How does it work?

The key to AR is the software and design. The Image Group Director of Print Services, David Berland, explains, “…it’s just a matter of embedding the proper AR tag within the printed design which allows an app to read it.” In other words, a graphic made with a certain target or code is read by an app that opens the unique digital experience via a web connection. While a universal app does not exist, there are a number of free apps that can be downloaded from third parties to access the digital features.

AR can feature videos, games, or 3D renderings of products. For example, popular gaming app Pokémon GO employs the use of AR. You can create a similar experience for your industry’s audience.

Why use AR?

If you are looking for ways to set yourself and your product presentations apart from your competition, AR provides a captivating medium in which to do so. Imagine creating an immersive experience for your audience that brings their physical, printed piece to life. Rather than looking at a picture of your product on a flat-printed sheet, readers can scan the page with their phones and see an interactive, 3D image of the product or a video of the product in action.

Interactivity will increase both reader involvement and return-on-investment (ROI). The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that worldwide revenues for the combined AR/VR (virtual reality) market will reach $143 billion by 2020.

The ability to employ AR is becoming more widespread. The almost universal acceptance of smartphones means that potential customers will be able to view the media-embedded print piece from anywhere in the world, at any time.

Examples of AR and Print:

Probably the best known example of AR technology in the marketplace is the Australian wine brand “19 Crimes.” Each of their bottle labels is embedded with AR technology. When you scan the label with an AR app on your phone, the label comes alive and the person shown on the label tells the story of 19 Crimes. The brand has experienced phenomenal growth because of this unique and interactive marketing campaign.

The U.S. Postal Service’s Irresistible Mail™ campaign features interactive experiences created when print and mobile technology join forces. The latest USPS Irresistible Mail book is available for free at We found some great examples of AR there.

Are you ready to take your print marketing to the next level? The Image Group can help you create a unique and captivating piece utilizing AR and other digital technologies. Give us a call today to see how we can enhance your print with the latest technology.

Written by Jennifer Zaurov, Social Media Specialist.

Need help integrating AR into your print strategy? Contact us at The Image Group at
Augmented Reality is Revolutionizing Print