There has been a lot of talk in recent times about how the printed world as we know it is going to become extinct. Printed pages are being replaced by websites and mobile devices. The lure is clear: interactive content. Sound, motion and networking can draw people away from printed formats, but there is life in paper yet.
Not all Printed Formats are Doomed
It is true that previously established print media such as newspapers and magazines are in decline, but the purpose of those formats is that they are the most concise and attainable way of accessing news and current affairs. As technology makes news and information more accessible via the Internet, it is only natural for the world to move in that direction.
Media attention has largely focused on magazines, newspapers and books when it comes to the decline of print, and although these formats are fading in popularity, it is important not to forget the versatility of the print world. Areas such as business stationery, packaging and advertising materials are still popular and you cannot underestimate the brand presence of physical printed material.
Appealing to Your Senses
It is clear that sound and motion are a big attraction of digital formats, but the fact still remains that print can offer you a diverse sensory experience. It is more visually diverse than screen, offering not only flat colours but special finishes such as fluorescents, luminescent, metallic, holographic foils as well as the simple contrast between matt and gloss.
This luxury business card appears like a simple de-bossing in the light, but glows when viewed in the dark.
The iridescent holographic foil gives this business card a sense of motion.
Simple effects like a foil finish can give a luxury look and feel, and metallic cannot be replicated on screen.
The physical nature of print also gives it texture, weight, scent and heat, all of which cannot be created on screen. There is an endless selection of textures in print, from smooth gloss to woven papers all the way to special finishes such as velvet-textured laminates. There is a certain amount of pleasure taken in being able to hold a 3D object that cannot be replicated in the virtual world. Scent in print is usually subtle, such as scented paper but can be used to great effect. Scent is something taken for granted but it is highly associated with atmosphere and emotional reactions and yet again cannot be produced on-screen. Print also has a certain weight, and even heat can be taken into account when you think of special effects such as heat reactive finishes.
This ingenious stationery uses a black thermo-sensitive ink that loses its colour when exposed to heat such as human body heat.
Die cut pages add some interest to a brochure.
Gold or coloured edging, again adds luxury.
Die cutting can let you experiment away from the rectangular.
In short, we will always need print. As we will always need tactile, physical objects for advertising, stationery and packaging amongst other uses. In the end you cannot live solely in a virtual world, and with the vast array of things you can do with print why would you want to?