After living in San Francisco for a long time, and then moving to a much smaller town, I was shocked to see such a difference in the utilization of digital media in general. I’m afraid that designers in big cities over-estimate the usage of digital media in most people’s lives.
Effective = older consumers, higher value clients. Less effective = younger audiences.
I’ve learned print has no age — older, more traditional consumers appreciate a tactile piece, but younger ones have begun to truly appreciate a break from the sensory overload of digital media. Having worked in several fields like architecture, advertising, editorial, education, marketing, packaging, promotions, POP/POS displays, I see the benefit of having a print component that gives another dimension and feel to a message. Digital saves trees, but uses electricity, so one method isn’t completely environmentally friendly. Since there are many audiences, it’s hard to rule out one method over the other — so as not to alienate an entire population that may not have digital access or competence, nor assume everyone wants to collect a bunch of printed pieces that take up space.
Print is an effective novel tool used to engage a precise audience — a tactic to gain attention and speak to an audience in a new way. As the saying goes, “Everything old is new again.”
Large consumer purchases and luxury purchases need the touch and feel of paper; it slows down the frenetic pace and gives people a chance to think and consider.
We love doing OHH and posters for our movie clients, as well as NFP clients we have. It is essential for events to have leave behinds, takeaways and something to remember you by.
Print is critical for packaging, and book/magazine publications. Not relevant for digital platforms including social media, pod casts, blogs and digital newsletters.
Associations and nonprofits tend to print more than traditional for-profit outfits. Healthcare prints a lot. So does Real Estate.
I have both types of clients. Some projects are okay with just posting online, but some need both online and print. We work with college students and it seems they prefer digital, but notice that when something is in print it gets more attention.
Our distributors/customers still want paper catalogs.
I would say magazines with readers who are passionate about the subject should stick with print (or have options for both print and digital). Few of my own favorites: American Bungalow, American Road, Coastal Living, Outdoor Photographer, Downeast. Technical subjects maybe not so much… Sad to see advertising moving to more online/digital…
For my industry, we focus on employee communications and for many companies, print is still important to target those who are not on a computer as part of their job, or there are topics/ decisions relevant to partners/family members.
The Real Estate industry definitely still needs the print media. Flyers and brochures in the open houses give prospective buyers something to think about when making a decision.
Real world clients need to include touch/paper in their communication mix. Digital clients can add touch/paper to establish greater presence/realness to their mental presence.