Graphic Design USA recently released their “50th Anniversary Print Survey”. In a world steeped in digital media you might find the conclusions surprising. After surveying 10,000 graphic designers about print and its impact, the bottom line is print is here to stay, and the trend may even be growing. Designers are spending 74% of their time working on print projects. Print is an extremely important part of an integrated marketing program and is highly complementary to the more immediate and accessible online interaction. We humans are programmed to touch and feel from before birth; it is a part of who we are.
Printing innovations have made print materials more feasible than ever. It is now possible to produce high-quality short digital print runs on machines that challenge even the experienced eye to tell if something was printed digitally or on a traditional printing press. QR codes help bridge the gap between paper and online allowing the reader to go directly from a printed piece to a website or video by using their phone or tablet.
The survey respondents see print becoming more appreciated and valued because of its rarity and longevity. It also allows for a more sophisticated interaction with a target audience. This is particularly true with high-end printing targeted to the HNW and UHNW markets. Paper quality and printing techniques give a tactile experience that online environments cannot deliver. The trick is understanding the value of both print and online materials and how they can work together in an integrated marketing campaign.