+Why invest in print?

The shift of print vs digital media


by Sarah Hood, Senior Account Manager / Production Manager

The death of paper

A decade ago, the printing industry was at a high. Clients wanted to create brochures and leaflets, branded stationery was essential and direct mail peaked. The latter was very apparent by the barrage of junk mail received on a daily basis.

Fast forward only 5 years and print companies were in decline. We regularly saw the death of several paper stock companies who simply couldn’t meet the ‘we need it now and we need it cheap’ demand from agencies who were being pressured by clients.

A digital takeover

Digital was taking over. Publishers feared the death of the paperback as e-readers took over and Amazon Kindle seemed an unstoppable force. Printing presses were closed as hundreds of local titles were moving from daily to weekly titles and some ceased to exist entirely. Even The Independent, after 30 years of losing money, moved entirely online.
And then something happened. Just as digital looked to be taking over, the sale of e-books started to decline and people were picking up paperbacks again. Having hundreds of emails land in our inboxes meant we were excited to actually receive a letter. How long had it been since that had happened? And printed collateral was once again exciting.

A tangible product

There is, in my opinion, nothing better than something tangible to read. Even if you’re not quite as taken with the feel of a soft touch laminate, the smell of recycled paper or the intricacies of singer sewn binding, you can’t argue that it’s better to be able to flick through the pages of something rather than mindlessly scrolling through them. And circling the items you wanted in the Argos catalogue was one of the most exciting things to do before Christmas!

Printed material can reflect your brand the way a digital visual can’t. Yes, print can be pricey with infinite options to really make your product stand-out but it is an investment worth making. A brochure is far more likely to be kept and shared than a digital pdf.

A reflection of a brand

We recently designed and created a brochure for Michael Caines’ hotel, Lympstone Manor. The hotel has been Michael’s passion for most of his lifetime and the vision and passion for the building is apparent in every aspect of the building. The brochure had to mirror the luxury of the hotel and whilst the website could provide all of the detail and the means to book, the brochure would unequivocally be the vision on paper. Designed with a gold foil to the front cover, the brochure included minimal text giving way to the beautiful hotel imagery which dominates each spread. This was designed as a piece of Lympstone Manor which could be taken away.

A place for both

Whilst there will always be a place for digital – it can be altered and updated almost immediately, there are no printing costs to consider and unlike print, the results are measurable – arguably, a tangible printed item, be it a brochure or a piece of direct mail, gives credence to a brand and investment to keep this industry alive should be a priority for any business.

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