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Print is dead: long live print

posted on June 23, 2012 in Design

The evidence and opinions continue to mount: not only is the Internet the best thing since sliced bread, it’s rapidly driving all other media to the wall. Only today for instance, I saw an article about a survey of Americans, most of whom believed that we would no longer send letters by the year 2050.

It might be good to get a little perspective here, though. No one would deny that the Internet has many things going for it. With a website, for example, you can market your company to the whole world (or at least the Internet-connected part of it) at very low cost: a valuable asset.

But does that mean that print is simply yesterday’s technology, ready to be consigned to the shelf with quill pens, overhead projectors and the cassette deck?

I think not.

It’s not just a question of saying that online technology is more advanced and therefore better, end of story. Print and the web do different things.

Take online books. Even though I can now read many titles online, I would far rather read them in book form. All that technology actually gets in the way of my imagination. And I know I’m not alone there.

But what about using print for marketing and corporate communication? Is there still a future for that?

I would say yes, definitely. And again it comes down to the differences.

For example, although your website and corporate brochure should speak the same sort of language and reinforce your brand, they are not the same thing (as companies that merely put their brochure text onto their web pages discover to their cost).

Website copy should be punchier, more direct, more big-picture. With a brochure, you have more time and more space. You can develop arguments, present more evidence. Readers are more likely to go back to pages previously read and embrace the brochure as a whole.

People’s attention spans are shorter online, partly because there are so many other websites just a click away. The same thing isn’t true of a brochure or other printed matter.

Printed media are a good way to target a particular geographic area: through newsletters or newspapers, flyers or leaflets. You can also hand out printed matter at exhibitions and in other places where you have a passing audience.

They appeal more to older people (baby boomers and earlier), who like the sensation of holding and touching a printed item.

Then again, business owners read more print media, in the form of newsletters and magazines, than the general public; they’re always looking for informed comment. A well-produced print item can meet that need more effectively than its electronic equivalent.

At Mortimer, we’re very aware that a well designed, beautifully crafted piece of print can be a potent weapon in your armoury. Of course, it can’t do lots of things that online media can do; but the reverse is also true.

Why not give us a call – and let us show you why we think the death of print has been greatly exaggerated.