Is Print Dead?

…or is it living a new lease of life?

Articles, images, flyers, invitations, and even books are digital now. With just one click we can find, read, and send anything we like, on any topic we’re interested in. With so much to look at, are we actively consuming media, or have we become passive to it?

Digital essentially has the world’s population at its finger tips, but are people listening? We would argue that print is more powerful than ever before, simply because it’s now more unusual to find it, and it has the ability to rise above the digital noise. It hasn’t died, it’s just taken a new standing in this heavily digitalised world.

Here’s why:

VALUE:

Print has added value to it now – it’s special, it’s authentic, it’s no longer the norm. Receiving a hard copy letter, or a hand written invitation, has a real personal touch. These types of invitations most certainly have more of an impact than the monotonous PDF (invitation inserted into an email).

TRUST:

Although we are very much in the digital age, and rely on it too, there will always be an element of distrust – will it work? Will it send? Who could it be forwarded on to? With one click, details of your ‘private’ event could be shared with others pretty easily. Digital can even effect the printed copy, as people can take a photo of an invite and share it on social media.

Alongside this, with emails, or digital interaction, you can’t always be sure that people have seen what you’ve sent. Could they have opened it, but not read it? Did it mistakenly go into their spam folder? Or perhaps it landed in their inbox, but they glanced past it and never even opened it?

Print is a physical and tangible way to communicate and distribute your messages.

ESSENTIAL USES:

People will always need print as it will consistently be an effective way to distribute your messages physically. With digital advertising bombarding us every day, whether this is by-app adverts, email promotions, or banner ads and pop-ups, we have become immune to it and debatably do not pay as much attention to this form of advertising as we used to.

Print has the ability to pick up the attention that digital may be losing. Even digitally-led companies, such as Facebook, are reverting back to more traditional advertising. According to data from Neilson, Facebook spent more than £6m on traditional media in the U.K in 2015, compared with £16,000 in 2014. Read more here.

OVERALL…

Digital and print both oppose and complement each other. It all depends on who you are targeting, and for what purpose. Digital may be more effective in reaching specific online audiences, and print may be better at exposing brands to the public eye.

It would be impossible to push the entire world into being fully digital, as people will always feel the need to touch, or physically see something in their hands. Only recently U.K’s largest book retailer Waterstones removed Amazon’s Kindle eBooks from its stores nationwide, and exchanged them with print books due to “pitiful sales”. Read more here.

With a heavy digitalised world, and the need to physically have something in your hands, there is an increase in digital and print working together rather than against one another. Examples of this are QR codes, video screens in brochures, and augmented reality are successful and smart ways to bridge the gap between old and new. We predict that in the future print and digital will continue to be intertwined for high impact, and diverse marketing.

Here is a great example of print and digital working in unison with architectural projects… Click here to watch the video.

 Emily Johnson

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