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printing in the digital age

A recent New York Times article discussing print vs. e-books for children suggests that even many avid Kindle and iPad digital book readers prefer printed books over digital for their children. The experience of flipping through a printed book is inherently more personal and unique. Paper thickness and texture, colors, page sizes and bindery can communicate an instant message in a way that a digital screen image cannot.

The same can be said for business printing. While every medium has its advantages, the mere fact that printed pieces and mailed pieces are becoming less common makes it a great opportunity to take advantage of the unique quality of ink on paper. A brochure sized to fit inside a common no. 10 envelope, but folded on the short edge makes use of the extended landscape design surface. This is a proportion unlike a iPad or monitor screen, making it stand out more.

The feel of a heavy sheet of textured coverstock with a letterpressed image pressed into it is memorable. The below notebooks for Benefits Growth Network contained outlined notes and workbook pages for a business workshop, as well as blank notebook pages to take notes in.  The unique production quality makes clients hang on to them longer. Even if workshop pages are removed, the BGN brand is reinforced by the debossed logo on the cover

Looking a the two invitations below, which event would you rather attend?

Before ruling out printing because of expense or production time, first take into consideration the possible increase in response to a printed piece. How much is a new customer worth? An attendee at a fundraising event? Planned correctly, printing in the digital age is an investment that pays off in the end.

4 thoughts on “printing in the digital age”

  1. Of course, I agree that a printed book has so many more advantages over digital. But then I am a book artist and I’m over 65 (not of the digital age). Your papers, your designs, your colors, and your letterpressed images make my mouth water. A digital image does not do that. But, we need to also consider that besides expense or production time for a printed piece, we are using up natural resources in the form of trees. (However, it takes energy for digital). Just wish we could get fine papers without using trees.

  2. Thanks you.
    I like to think that there will be some form of print media as long as humans have a sense of touch.
    I am reminded of the “video vs. film” debate of my youth. Both have their place.

  3. Wonderful and thoughtful post becca. I am reminded of a conversation I had with someone not long ago. They suggested the elimination of CDs, leaving just digital music (for ease) on the one hand, and LPs (for quality) on the other extreme. Your beautiful letterpress work represents the best of print. There are great reasons for pure digital delivery as well. Lets get rid of the flood of mediocre and unneeded paper waste out there. For me there will never be a replacement for the printed book. The tactial experience is half the pleasure of reading. I am sorry I find the kindle tiring and quite lacking. I loved your “double usage” concepts. Involvement is key.

  4. Great comments. I appreciate the discussion, and was thinking about it this morning when hearing NPR talk about the Postal Office service changes and layoffs. I also like the idea of extremes [flood of mediocre and unneeded paper waste, indeed] and hope it carries over to paper choices…20# bond will always be useful but I will cry if I ever loose access to a soft sheet of 100% cotton cover that takes a lovely impression and is so nice to the touch.

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