Why is print design is still important and
impactful in today’s digital age?
By Jodi kolpakov | april 2020
In order to be a well-rounded designer and brand, the best strategy is to incorporate both printed and online marketing materials. In today's world, it is almost impossible to argue that print design is more relevant than digital design. Many reasons contribute to this arguement, such as age group and the evolution of technology. However, as a print designer myself, I consider the print aspect of design to be much more impactful for many reasons. Encouraging print materials helps businesses grow in more ways than most people are aware of. By focusing on tangibility, audiences, and environment, print design offers an experience that cannot be replicated online.
Tangible marketing materials, such as business cards, flyers, and brochures, offer more engagement and credibility across the board. Just like a book, a person can physically hold an printed material, which tends to help them take in that information much more efficiently than reading it on a digital screen. On avergage, it is known that most people only spend about ten to twenty seconds skimming information on a screen, whereas most people will spend up to 45 minutes reading printed material, like a magazine. In addition to that, credibility is awarded from print design because, for example, if a company spends money on printed materials to publish information, it most likely means that the information provided is more legit. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to believe anything that is published online, without fact-checking of course. Internet advertisements also scare most people, believing that the spread of viruses or spam can lower their chances of reading important material. By reading a tangible item, this helps improve legitimacy, especially across particular audiences.
One thing to remember with your audience is that there is still an "older crowd" that primarily relies on print in order to obtain information. Just imagine your grandpa, who spends his mornings drinking coffee and reading the daily newspaper. Because of his generation, he is more likely to obtain information from printed materials rather than reading the news on a smartphone. Taking advantage of designing and printing magazines, newspapers, and publications will help reach this target audicne. In addition to this, these older groups of people tend to spend more money on average than younger groups of people - which is why print design is very important for businesses. To answer the equation: older groups + printed advertisement = profits. Focusing on younger crowds or niche audiences is also important too. Publishing magazines, books, or brochures on the right topcis will help these types of folks also engage in print design much more easily. Environments can also contribute to reaching certain audiences as well.
Without even realizing, most people absorb information based on the environment they are in. For example, when walking into a coffee shop, most people tend to read posters and flyers that are in front of them without even going out of their way to do it. Another reason why environment is important is because it offers many more opportunities to get your printed material in someone's hands to read. If a person is in an area where there is opportunity for print design, then they are more likely to read it. Sometimes, print design is necessary for businesses to operate. Think about it: imagine never reading anything on paper ever again; this is almost impossible. People read printed materials when they walk into a shop (price tags, posters, etc.), or when they receive mail (like this bills or coupons), or even when they go out to eat at a restaurant (you have to read a menu to order!). Taking advantage of your surroundings for print design is much more efficient in more ways than one.
Due to physiciality, generations, and location, print design is still very important in the digital age. Through colors, typefaces, and layouts, your "brand" can get across much more efficiently through print design. Print design has evolutionized over the last 30 years drastically. While most people's attention spans have shortened due to technology, there are new solutions to help people stay engaged in print design. Many new forms of information, such as QR Codes, Infographics, and Social Media, have helped print designers make their materials more interactive. It is our duty in the design world to continue creating print-related content that will keep print design impactful and relevant for the future culture shifts and many years to come.