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Why print will never die: Print vs. digital collateral

2016-12-05

By: Karla Renée

In today's digitized, inter-connected world, it's all too easy to send a text or an email to someone and forget about it. Whether it's an e-card for Mom's birthday or a PDF brochure for a prospective client, digital content is incredibly efficient and convenient. But as any library lover will tell you, there's just no replacement for the printed word.

Related: Not everything is online—How print materials can raise brand awareness.

Here at Lucidpress, we offer our own Print & Ship service, so users can create unique designs and bring them to life through print. We're talking cards, business cards, flyers, documents, brochures, you name it. Ordering gorgeous, high-quality prints is a feature that more of our users requested than any other—and we're here to deliver (pun very much intended).

Not sure about the value of print in a digital world? Here's a few reasons why we believe print will never die.

Scarcity

Print is collectible

Now that so many things are shared digitally, print stands out. Well-placed printed materials can grab attention for your business, so they're a boon to your marketing. And because printing is more expensive, printed materials carry more authority and credibility than they did before, because someone took the effort to produce them.

Ever hear of "supply and demand"? Digitized content eliminates the supply and demand curve, because supply is infinite. But with printed content, the curve still stands. Printed items are tangible and maintain their scarcity. Certain printed items, like concert and movie posters, can even become collectibles because they evoke strong memories of a certain time and place. Can't do that with a PDF.

Beauty

Print is beautiful

No matter how popular eBooks get, there is always a stalwart bunch who refuse to get rid of their old books. Why? One possibility is this: books and printed materials have physical beauty that can be appreciated again and again over time. Book-binding itself can be described as an art, one which has evolved and developed a rich history. We know how important aesthetics are—just take a look at our previous blog post about book covers.

The point is, printed materials like books have varied appearances and styles. Digital materials are often homogenized down to black text on a white screen. And while that is useful and efficient for conveying information, the appreciation of unique physical beauty is lost.

Sentimentality

Print is sentimental

How many photos are saved on your phone or hard drive? When I last checked, mine had over 3,000 (and counting). But when was the last time I sat down and flipped through all those photos? Hardly ever.

Photos in particular are a record of permanence, a memory you can hang in your home or office. I may not glance at the pictures on my phone very often, but I pass by the picture of my nephew hanging on my wall every day. And each time I see it, my heart fills with joy. Certain photos deserve to be printed and cherished in scrapbooks, frames, lockets and wallets.

Printed materials are a powerful reminder of something concrete. Following the same principle as photos, you can create strong impressions by providing printed materials for your business. If you're at a trade show, for example, it's far more impactful to hand someone a brochure than to give them a link to a landing page.

Practicality

Print is practical

Wait, but didn't I say digital materials are the more convenient choice? Sure. But that doesn't mean print is lacking in practical benefits. Here are a few reasons you might choose print over digital:

  • Many find print easier to read, especially for long periods of time, so as to avoid eye strain.

  • Readers are less likely to skim a printed document than a digital one.

  • Printed materials feel more inviting and immediately engaging than files which have to be opened first.

  • As unscientific as it sounds, print simply feels better to humans because it uses more of our senses to create a stronger memory. (Think "old book smell.")

Digital might have its advantages, but one thing is clear: print is not now, or ever, really going away. Its purpose and value might shift over time, but today, it makes more sense than ever to print what matters most. Whether you're sharing a photo postcard for the holidays or business cards at a trade show, Lucidpress can help you bring your ideas into the real world.

Ready to design your own print ideas? Lucidpress makes it easy to create beautifully branded content in a matter of minutes.

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Karla Renée

Karla Renée is the Associate Content Manager for Lucidpress. Her specialties include brand strategy, content marketing, and social media management. She loves creative writing and new tech devices, and she's never visited a museum she didn't like.

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