Everything Old is New. Again.

I should be clear that I believe in and strongly embrace technology (I’m a Google Glass Developer)! I think that the relationship between old and new—printed communication and digital outreach--will prove to be the most successful marriage for marketers in the future. Why? Because the permanence of print complements the instantaneous and constantly-updated nature of digital. Although each plays a role, I have to say that print is my first love. And, while I’ve always been clear about that, perhaps I’ve neglected to tell you why.

Print has tangible properties that make it part of the culture and the times. Print has shape, weight and texture. A magazine can rest on a coffee table, a book can fit on a shelf and a brochure can be held in your hands. For marketers, paper and printing techniques are as important a creative choice as typography and illustrative style. For readers, the form of the printed piece is integral to its enjoyment. With print, there is the pleasure of ownership--the satisfaction of possessing a valuable catalogue, a beautiful invitation or a favorite fashion magazine. While printing on paper may be centuries old, it continues to be a medium for the new millennium. Advances in both paper and printing technology have allowed designers to achieve effects that were not possible a decade ago. These days, as Sappi shows in its research, Print &, print can evoke nearly any texture, color or even smell through various coatings and varnishes, different inks and special techniques. When used strategically, these new techniques can help to make a printed piece stand out and resonate with an audience. With an abundance of promotional noise squawking all around us, well-designed and meaningful documents are an important way to build credibility and trust. In this new age it’s even more important to share your messaging through tangible communication materials as even millennials themselves believe that paper mail is more reliable than digital communication. Over three-quarters of people ages 16-26 say documents are less trustworthy in digital format and 65% of them agreed that, for ease of use and viewing, paper is still the way to go. To learn more about how millennials view print communication click here: Two Sides. While I know that the secret to creating great communication materials doesn’t require an either/or choice between print and digital, I still believe that the reliable nature of print can be the key to a marketing plan and its success. And, isn’t a reliable, credible and trustworthy brand one of the benchmarks for any marketer? Does that make sense?

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