3D Newspaper – Genius or Gimmick

A couple of days ago the miss us and I arrived in Bangkok and I was surprised yesterday to see that the Bangkok Post had printed most of its photos and a good deal of its advertisements in 3D. Given that it was a printed newspaper, it had to use the traditional blue and red (or anaglyph for the technical people amongst us) three dimensional imaging. As such, a pair of cardboard glasses with one blue and one red lens was included with the paper.

I will say that this was a once off for the newspaper as it was celebrating 64 years of being in print (although if you ask me, 64 years is an unusual milestone to celebrate unless you love binary or you are a fan of The Beatles song that should immediately come to mind). Even so, I was disappointed with the fact that the photos themselves weren’t anything special let alone with 3D and the advertisements tended to pop off the page far more visibly than the photos.

So was this an effective use of 3D in print?

Personally, I didn’t think it was at all. Anaglyph 3D had its day long ago back in comic books. We have been spoilt with digital 3D in the cinemas courtesy of shutter or polarised glasses (putting aside the quality of the intellectual content from the visual content). Nonetheless, anaglyph 3D is cheap to distribute and doesn’t require end users to fork out for expensive hardware. There may come a time in the future where that won’t be such an issue but it could be a long way off.

So I reckon it was a gimmick. Nice in theory, something out of the ordinary and perhaps a point of discussion for the day or two afterwards but nothing more. 3D still has to prove itself to be the next step in mainstream graphical evolution and this effort certainly did no favours.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.