3 Reasons Print
is not Dead!

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3 Reasons Print is not Dead!

A perfectly healthy Mark Twain once famously quipped, “reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” The same is true of print. While the digital revolution has indeed done damage to behemoth institutions like newspapers, magazines, and books, print media still has more life left than most think. Media experts predicted that e-books and digital publishing would completely wipe out physical printed objects by the end of 2015. We all know how that turned out. So the role of print in a digital world is evolving to suit the needs of businesses and consumers alike, but there is absolutely a role to be played by print, and a surprisingly important one at that. Here are three reasons why print is neither dead nor dying.

1) No More Business as Usual
For businesses, printed materials remain among the best brand recognition tools. Print cuts through the digital clutter and puts a business’s brand, in living color, in the hands of customers and potential customers. Print collateral is especially relevant for salespeople, who seem to always have a lot to communicate in only a little time. Sending a potential client to a website or a digital presentation adds a screen between salespeople and potential customers. Not to mention that a business’s website copy and its sales messaging are likely to differ vastly due to the attention span of the given audience. But handing a potential customer a quickly-digestible printed page with a targeted sales message gets the point across with remarkable efficiency. Printed objects are direct and facilitate human interaction, which will always be essential in sales conversations. Handing a client a beautiful and informative physical object is even more impactful than ever.

2) Beauty Is In The Eye of the Holder
For all the convenience of digital, physical objects maintain a hold on us humans. Printed materials can, of course, be informative. But a hugely influential aspect of print’s lifeblood is in its visual design. Print can and should be beautiful. Physical media has morphed from an aspect of everyday life that we take for granted into a unique design opportunity. A chance to make a statement. The resurgence in popularity of vinyl records is an appropriate corollary. Why have vinyl sales surged back to pre-digital revolution numbers? Because listeners felt a distinct void: with strictly digital music, there was nothing to hold or touch. And why did vinyl records in particular resurface as the preferred physical medium of music? Sound quality arguments aside, part of the resurgence can be credited to the large format of the physical objects themselves. Record sleeves are iconic design objects. And they, just like beautiful books, magazines, brochures, presentations, and even business cards are part of the broad pantheon of print.

3) A Trusted Friend
Consumers have grown accustomed to ignoring the never ending deluge of digital media, online ads and content. Not to mention the “fake news” phenomenon that we deal with on a daily basis. According to a consumer survey by graphic communications non-profit, Two Sides, print is considered more trustworthy than social media and other online content sources.  Even more telling is that millennials have similar levels of trust in print than older generations. Businesses have recognized that print in all forms has a big role to play in their success and have taken steps to include print in their overall marketing strategy.

Obviously, the role print plays in modern media is different than in previous eras. There was a time when “print” and “media” were virtually synonymous. Today, print is but one part of the greater media engine, but salespeople, marketers, designers, and other professionals would be wise not to completely ignore physical media in favor of digital. Tangibility will always have value. It’s human nature.



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