Hauntology is a philosophical concept originating from French philosopher Jacques Derrida. It refers to how directions taken in the past can haunt the present and also how possible futures were never realised.
So here we are, still in the middle of the pandemic yet with a ray of hope in sight with a vaccine, and thinking how things could have been different already. And while we are waiting, clinging to hope we’ve probably been experiencing since spring last year, the Covid pandemic has forced through many social and economic developments which were initially stuttering along slowly as they integrated into regular life. These include home food shopping deliveries; higher amount contactless payments; cash only retail transactions; and flexible working. Of course, we are also facing a partial collapse of retail; growing mass unemployment due to online shopping; the entire shutdown of some industries and the potential loss of some cultural icons such as music festivals and venues.
Before Covid there was almost an incapacity to escape the old ways of operating, now the future has a torch shone upon it - leading the way in some regards, but blinding us in others.
So what happens in the world of print and display? How are The Graphical Tree fairing and what can we offer going forward?
Well, it would be dishonest to suggest everything is rosy. With most customers and acquaintances away from their place of work, everything all but closed up, and a lockdown in force – we continue to offer a full production and installation service when required, and we make the best of what we have at our disposal - dedication, experience and time. Time to think about our policies and environmental output; time to see how we can tweak or take the business in different ways to improve its offering; time to talk about collaborations; time to think about refurbishments; time to solidify our purpose for existing as a business post-Covid.
What does that look like? Well, initially we’re looking to ride out the storm and surf safely from this giant Covid wave of uncertainty as if we were emerging from a Mavericks barrel. But, over the coming months, we also plan to bring in new print technology to enhance efficiency; we plan to test and roll out new and evolving eco-materials and substrates - as well as join forces with a few leaders in the field to shape and influence the future of eco-friendly graphics (watch this space); set up a lab so you can experience the feel and textures of materials in-house; new online offerings; plus a few other exciting propositions such as pop-up collaborations and exhibitions; and maybe even some talks with interesting folks - social distancing restrictions permitting, of course.
So keep an eye out for what lies ahead at The Graphical Tree, we’d like to realise our future instead of bemoaning what could have been – being bold, brave and focused to negotiate what lies ahead.