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The value of print

The printed word still wields a lot of power

In a world of smartphones, computers and TV, print often gets pushed to the wayside.

However, print is still a very effective medium — especially when combined with digital. According to a recent survey, 69 percent of consumers rely on direct mail to receive coupons and special offers. In addition, 60 percent of online brand searches are a direct result of a printed message.

“The latest trend is digital paired with print,” says Jill DiNicolantonio, a long-time paper and design specialist at Millcraft.

“Print is very tactile. It produces an emotional response because touching and feeling a piece makes it real to the person. It becomes ingrained in their memory.”

To get the most out of your printed materials, DiNicolantonio recommends taking an interactive approach.
IKEA, for example, uses augmented reality to make its catalogs come alive. With the use of a smartphone
app, readers can shop from their own home without the fear of purchasing furniture that does not fit with the rest of their décor. The catalog is placed within the room that the user wants to decorate, and the app senses and measures the booklet itself to create accurate images. Products then appear on the user’s smartphone screen in the correct size and color.

DiNicolantonio also suggests using printed materials to craft your brand’s message. With digital media, users control the order in which they access your brand’s message. However, with print, you can craft a story for your audience. You control the order in which the information is presented and impart personality through the use of typeface, paper, color and print techniques to subtly convey your brand’s
message to achieve real results.

“In a multifaceted world, tactile design provides clients a moment to truly connect with their audience,
inspiring them to step away from their computers and experience the beauty of image and message,” says Christine Wisnieski, a Millcraft client and freelance art director and graphic designer.

“Print is most definitely not dead, and those who claim it is don’t understand how to use it effectively,” DiNicolantonio says.

She says that the craft of print is experiencing a resurgence, largely due to the rise of entrepreneurs and the maker movement. Many young designers are discovering older print techniques such as letterpress and love the sensory experience of mixing the ink and cranking the press.

“It’s great to see techniques like that regaining popularity,” DiNicolantonio says. “There are so many
creative ways to use print, and it continues to be a very viable part of the marketing mix.”