Hackathon shows printed smiles are for life

A personalised book developed from a print-focussed hackathon, has shown its enduring value in recalling happy memories.

Belgium-based print innovation group VIGC organised the hackathon, resulting in 84 participants from Germany, Scandinavia, USA, Estonia, Belgium and The Netherlands gathering virtually to develop new ideas for the graphic arts.

Mentors and jury members were also present during the teams' meetings.

The winning idea from Luca School of Arts in Ghent, Belgium, counters the belief that print is dead, with a book of 'Smiles' using technology that can detect smiles in pictures to identify images.

The Luca team (pictured) suggest an annual personalised book, combining print and digital. "On mobile phones memories get lost, by printing them they get physical and gain emotional value," they say. "We wanted to show that the combination of print and digital was perfectly possible and by doing so making people not only addicted to the mobile phone but also to print."

Participants were briefed on the use of a business model, based on an A4 sheet, and defining the target audience and problem to be solved.

Senior jury members including DRUPA's Sabina Gelderman, Morton Reitoft of Inkish TV, Pat McGrew and Magnus Thorkildsen of Grafkom, emphasised presentation skills.

Winners received 3,000 Euros from Sappi and professional support to bring their idea to life.

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