Enhancing Printing Industry or ‘Augmented Printing’ was a 20-week research project commissioned by A&O Fonds Grafimediabranche and conducted by my team at Digital Society School (an applied research lab at University of Amsterdam). The goal of the project was to create prototypes that could aid in innovating the Dutch printing industry.

The conclusion of the research was the following: the point of the most potential impact in the industry is the communication quality between the stakeholders (printing companies, paper suppliers, designers, and clients) which could be dramatically improved. 

To aid better communication we have created the MINDSET SHIFT toolkit aimed at the companies and individual professionals who would like to begin innovating the way they facilitate and run projects & teams. The toolkit consists of two parts: ‘Facilitation’ and ‘Team & Project’. Every part comes with a practical check-list and a set of method-cards explaining every step in the check-list.

This project was a team-collaboration between Batuhan Köksal, Leonardo Almeida, Mick Jongeling, Minatsu Homma, and myself. 

I was a printing specialist and a graphic designer in the team. My roles included overseeing the project’s direction, leading the team, and curating the project’s visual style. 

If you are interested in purchasing or collaborating on the toolkit, please, contact me nata@talkingpaper.nl

A&O Hub app was created to ease the process of producing a printed product. A designer can register in the app and gain access to an easy way of picking a printing company and an appropriate paper for their project. Printing companies and papers can be filtered by many factors including sustainability, speed of prodution/delievery etc. Every printing company has a profile explaining what kind of products they can do, speed limitations, location and so on. Additionaly, one can directly message the printing company within the app.
An advice function was added for those who need help picking a printing company or paper. In the app a user can answer some questions to see the best matching results filtered in accordance to the replies. It is easy to find the chosen printer by using an integrated map. There is also an option to order several paper samples per month if the user is registered in the system. 

App visuals are created by Leonadro and Batuhan.

The initial objective of the research brief was to find out which digital technologies can be used to enhance the experience of printed media? The desk research published in a series of Research Reports and applied research conducted through agile prototyping (see report and prototype samples below) of the currently available technologies has shown that the newly availible technical advancements are still too unstable to be advised across the industry.  
However, during our interview research phase it became apparent that the industry was facing a series of bigger issues. To see the overall picture the global map of the influencing factors on the printing industry of the Netherlands was created. The point of the most impact was found to be communication issue described above.

Examples of analysis maps are shown below and examples of other report materials are shown to the right.

Project results were delivered in a form of presentation and exhibition captured below.

During the research phase Design Method Toolkit and Hyper Island Toolbox were used the most along with many more various canvases and methodologies. Among our favorite research methods were co-creation, interviews, provotyping (creating provocative objects that spark discussions), speculative design, and technology testing.

by Talking Paper.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands.