AR Trends

How print media can benefit from Augmented Reality

Businesses related to print media can benefit from Augmented Reality in numerous ways. How so? This blog article has the answer.

Print media has been around for centuries and, historically, has played a significant role in the dissemination of information and entertainment. However, the advent of digitalization has caused a decline in the traditional print industry, leading many companies to struggle in their efforts to stay afloat. But what if there were a way for print media to stay relevant in today's digital age? What if there were a way to combine the traditional print experience with the benefits of digital media? Augmented Reality (AR) may hold the answer.

Connecting print and Augmented Reality

Broadly speaking, with AR technology, we can enhance the physical world by overlaying it with digital information. AR actively changes how we perceive, and interact with, our immediate environment, and has already made significant inroads in myriad industries including advertising and retail. But what about print? Could AR offer print media companies a new opportunity for growth and innovation?

The answer is a resounding yes! With AR, print media companies have the unique opportunity to get the best of both worlds: On the one hand, the haptic pleasure traditional print is able to provide, on the other hand, the innovative and modern perception of digital media. Combining these two mediums makes the reader experience truly engaging and interactive. Here’s a list of some of the ways print media can benefit from AR.

AR-powered advertisements

Using AR for advertising purposes is arguably one of the most obvious applications of AR in the realm of print media. AR-powered advertisements gives readers the chance to engage with content in a whole new way that draws readers in and excites them. An AR-powered advertisement in a magazine, for instance, may showcase a product in 3D and varying colors, or even include interactive events that customers can click on or interact with for a truly immersive experience. The benefits are clear: more engagement from the reader, enhanced memorability of the experience, increased effectiveness of the ad.

Interactive magazines

Creating interactive magazines is a great way to incorporate AR into print. With AR, print media companies may create magazines that have more to offer than just a monotone collection of static images and text, namely a dynamic and interactive experience for the reader. The options are numerous: By pointing their smartphone or tablet at a page, readers are presented with digital 3D designs and text, videos, animations, and other interactive elements such as integrated virtual buttons to click on. Exciting and innovative experiences like these have the power to massively increase dwell time and reader loyalty, turning otherwise one-time consumers into regulars.

augmented image in a magazine showing the augmentation of a room

AR-enriched newspaper articles

Undoubtedly, newspaper publishers are to be counted among the companies most affected by digitalization, as many of them have already brought their entire business model over into the digital space. However, AR may have the potential to spearhead a revival campaign for printed news.

What was still portrayed as magic 25 years ago when the first book of the Harry Potter series came out has now become reality: AR can make print images come to life. Instead of showing Dumbledore winking at fellow magicians, newspaper publishers can turn any 2D image into videos or interactive animations that are related to the content at hand. In turn, the consumer will have a more dynamic and memorable reading experience and spend more time with the story. Last but not least, data and information presented in an interactive way make it easier for the reader to grasp and understand complex concepts.

AR-enabled product catalogues

AR-enabled product catalogues are yet another way how print media companies can incorporate AR technology into their business model. With AR-enabled product catalogues, readers get the chance to see products and related information in 3D before they make a purchase, which can be used efficiently across the entire retail industry. In short, AR-enabled product catalogues have the potential to make the purchasing process smoother and much more efficient, positively impacting overall sales revenue.

AR-enabled magazines for education

A further use case of AR is the enhancement of print media for educational purposes. Science magazines, for instance, could add 3D models of the concepts being discussed to make them more digestible for readers without extensive background knowledge. Furthermore, history magazines may make historical events come to life and portray the spirit of times gone by in a new and exciting way, making the learning experience more engaging and interactive.

Of course, these are just a few of the myriad benefits AR can bring to the educational industry in general. For more information in this regard, make sure to check out our blog post about creative AR ideas for teachers and trainers.

AR solutions for online print shops

Online print shops now have the opportunity to provide their customers with an additional unique and innovative feature: an AR visualization added to any image printed. This means that in addition to placing a traditional printing order, customers can also order a 3D augmentation attached to the design.

Wouldn’t it be much more fun if one could see the dragon imprinted on a T-shirt come to life by scanning it with one’s cell-phone camera? Or if business cards, posters, promotional materials, personal coffee mugs, photo calendars, or any sort of cards in general would come with an interactive augmentation?

augmented shirt imprint showing a fire-spitting dragon

The benefits of incorporating AR into the online print shop business are numerous, including a competitive advantage to attract new customers, upselling opportunities as customers may be willing to pay a premium for the added value, and new marketing opportunities to showcase one’s services in a unique and memorable way.

Benefits of AR for print media companies

As shown, AR has the potential to revolutionize the traditional print industry, and companies should be quick to embrace this opportunity to reap the benefits. Let’s summarize the advantages once again:

  1. Increased engagement: Embedded AR experiences make print media more interactive, leading to increased reader loyalty and dwell-time.
  2. Improved customer experience: AR-enabled solutions for print media create a more personalized and immersive experience for the reader, substantially improving overall customer satisfaction.
  3. Enhanced product offerings: AR-powered advertisements and interactive print media add value to a company’s services, helping the company to stay relevant and creating strong upselling opportunities.
  4. Competitive advantage: Incorporating AR into their business enables print media companies to stay ahead of the game, helping them to stand out from their competitors and attract new customers.
  5. Better understanding of customers: AR-powered advertisements and interactive magazines provide data on reader behavior, giving valuable insights into various user metrics such as dwell-time or number of interactions.
  6. Increased brand awareness: AR-enriched content in printed media positions the creator as modern and innovative, drawing more attention to their services and driving sales.


In conclusion, AR offers a wealth of opportunities for various businesses in the print media industry to grow and innovate.

SQUARS offers an all-in-one Web AR creation platform print media companies can use to enrich their printed materials with exciting AR events. What’s more, SQUARS’s API allows companies to easily integrate its AR content creation software into already existing business and production workflows. For more information on our services and solutions, feel free to have a look at our website.

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