Paper is fundamentally important to society. You don’t hang up a digital version of a diploma. You hang A PAPER DIPLOMA. Rappers don’t hold up handfuls of Bitcoin in videos. They hold up PAPER MONEY. Printed pieces will always have a place in our lives. And while you can turn a page in a digital book, if you don’t charge the tablet, you’re not going to get to read that book. Unless it’s made of PAPER.
Print is still important but the same designs must also translate to digital formats for display across multiple platforms.
While digital platforms have gained significant prominence, print remains important in both my professional work and personal life. Print offers a tactile experience that digital media cannot replicate, allowing for a deeper connection with information. Additionally, print provides a sense of permanence, as physical copies can be stored and accessed reliably over time. The credibility associated with print materials also persists, as they are often regarded as more trustworthy and authoritative. Despite the convenience of digital alternatives, the traditional strengths of print, such as touch, permanence, and credibility, continue to hold value, making it relevant and significant even in today’s digital age.
With so much digital content today, I feel like having something to hold and feel, is making a comeback. Although now with QR codes, we can combine the impact. Today, however, print needs to really stand out and catch the reader’s attention to justify itself.
Print is a core part of my job, specifically when it comes to packaging and branding design. I still prefer a good book rather than reading on a screen and when I design for print, I try to use materials that have a nice texture and feel like a premium experience, by also using special inks to elevate the final product.
Currently, most of my projects revolve around print, although I have observed that my clientele is slowly transitioning some projects to digital media. Additionally, the younger demographic may not value printed materials in the same way my generation does.
Professionally, print is still important, for trade show quick guides, trade show banners, printed catalogs (customers want them), brochures and flyers. Personally paper is very important in my personal life. Did I say how much I love paper and the varieties of paper? I’m a consumer of paper products like journals, notepads, greeting cards, and am also a painter and printmaker so I purchase specific types of paper for painting, sketching and printmaking.
It’s hard to imagine the scarcity of paper in say the 18th century, and that not everyone had access to paper. I’d like to think that I don’t take access to paper for granted.
Print projects have decreased and digital has taken over. That has been the case for the past 10 years.
The sense of touch is so important to the experience of connecting with messages and retaining the content. Neuroscience supports that what we see and what we feel creates experiences that directly affect the brain.
Print still matters but in this day and time it is very important to use sustainable materials in all print, including packaging. Sustainability is the key, protecting the environment and not contributing to the pollution is paramount.
I do think print matters. I think there is an ebb/flow to these kinds of things that trend more toward digital, but then as soon as they do, they go too far very quickly and many demographics feel marginalized by the “busy-ness” of digital communications. Then print comes in to reconnect with human touch points.