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.

Eric Shew is a graphic designer and front end developer living in Bellingham, Washington.

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