Print – back by popular demand?
Perhaps it’s not quite accurate to say that print is making a come-back as it never went away in the first place.
It did, however, get left on the shelf for a while as the world went internet, app and social media crazy.
It’s almost impossible to make it through the day now without being exposed to the assertions, insights, opinions and predictions of burgeoning generations of bloggers, vloggers, influencers, authors, thought leaders and strategists.
But is the sheer volume of all this output putting people off? Terri White, editor-in-chief at Empire magazine, thinks so. Speaking to The Drum about the launch of Facebook’s print product, Grow (definitely not a magazine, apparently), she said:
“Trust, authority and credibility. The digital space is a hectic, loud, cluttered landscape with bloggers, influencers, journalists, editors, writers, marketeers all shouting into the void – their voices surfacing, or not, depending on SEO or algorithms. In such a crowded space, how do you ensure that people trust what they read on your website or social channels versus the other 30-odd people/brands in your area? How does your brand stand out?”
Print makes “a visceral, powerful connection,” she says. “The intimacy is unrivalled. Smell a magazine right now and tell me it doesn’t give you a head rush, tell me it doesn’t make you feel. In this increasingly digitised world, you cannot underestimate how much people just want to feel something real. And if you’re the brand that does that for them? Bingo.”
Consumers, it seems, are on the same page. As long ago as March 2017 The Guardian reported that physical books were once again outselling ebooks. As of late July 2018, this hadn’t changed, according to PrintWeek.
So does the appeal of print lie in its feel and smell, as White claims? Or could it be that a publisher has to go to a lot of trouble and expense to put their message out in print? Compare posting a blog (free and instant) to designing, setting, printing and distributing a brochure, book, magazine, etc (costly and slower).
Both are probably big factors. Books, magazines and high quality brochures are satisfying to handle and it stands to reason that if you’re printing something, you really back yourself and what you have to say. I believe readers know this.
Making print pay
Producing a piece of print that your intended reader takes pleasure and/or interest in calls for knowledge of the process and project management skills. On the technical front, for example, you’ll need to know the difference between Litho and digital print processes, how to specify stock and substrates and understand a wide range of file types. To run your print campaigns smoothly meanwhile, you’ll need to know when to run proofs and when to press pass, how to write artwork briefs and how to deal with printers and other suppliers – and quite a bit more.
All of which you’ll learn at The Industry School Print Production Workshop. So, if you’re a project manager, account manager, marketing manager, or even a digital manager looking for seamless integration between digital and print campaigns, join us. Our next workshop is on 27 September in London and you can secure your place here.