With the new developments in technology over the last few years, the phrase “print is dead” has been uttered with more frequency. While, yes, digital design and content are becoming more popular with each new advancement, people of every age still value print content and the benefits that come along with it. Reasons of health, credibility, readability, and the physical experience of reading print are just some of the common arguments as to why print is, and will always be, effective and still near and dear to our hearts.
Many of us have experienced the headaches that accompany eye strain after staring at a phone or computer screen for too long, or the back pain earned by hunching over a laptop while finishing a project or reading the latest news. According to HubCast, readers tend to prefer print over digital for reading as they want to avoid the negative side effects that can be caused by digital exposure. These side effects can include back pain, carpal tunnel, strain on the eyes, and headaches (HubCast).
Print has been around for a very long time, and it is the medium most often used to inform. Company brochures, catalogs, business cards, books, newspapers, and magazines have long been vehicles to share and receive information, whether it be on current events, or on certain subjects. Print, as pointed out by The Business Journals, is also what is used for warning stickers and instruction manuals, and it will always be available for future reference (The Business Journals). Without printed labels or manuals, we would be left with a lot of guesswork when navigating daily life.
Another key benefit of print is the ability to stay focused on the content. A study done by linguist Naomi S. Baron found that the tendency to multitask when reading on a screen was 90% more likely than those reading print (HubCast). Constant pop-up ads, clickbait articles, and notifications are easy distractions when looking at digital content, which makes print and its lack of pop-ups easier to focus on when reading.
The physical experience of touching a piece of printed material is a large part of why print is still so valued. Have you ever been handed a business card where you are instantly drawn to the paper type and the textures of raised UV or embossed lettering? This is one of the most enjoyable aspects of print—being able to feel the care that has gone into adding something extra to the experience of interacting with printed material. Handing out branded material can have a positive effect on your brand. Whenever the recipient sees the print content received from your brand, such as when picking up the branded pen you gave them at a conference months ago, they are going to remember you and your company (Forbes), and they will be more likely to turn to you should your company offer what the recipient needs for a project.
Print design covers a wide spectrum of projects—from designing business cards and letterheads, to working on magazine layouts. It is a field that comes with many opportunities that allow designers to exercise their full set of skills. Print design can even extend to areas that focus more on the fine arts, such as screen printing (which requires both technical and design skills), and is also commonly used in industry for creating branded materials, like t-shirts or promotional items.
Conclusion – Print Is Not Dead
Beyond the physical benefits, print is always going to be relevant to the industry. New businesses and small brands are constantly being developed, and they are going to require print materials, like business cards and brochures, to spread their name and build a customer base (Creative Pro). The enjoyable experience of handling quality print materials is something that generation after generation will have the opportunity to take part in, whether it is opening a new catalog or being handed a well-crafted business card.
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