With magazines like Marie Claire ceasing their print publications and transitioning to digital, many people are left asking, has print died?

The answer? No. Print hasn’t died, but its role has significantly changed.

Since the introduction of digital technologies, our behaviours have altered dramatically. We are more inclined to read the news on our smartphones rather than purchase a newspaper. Digital technologies have rocketed and as marketers, we’ve had to understand and embrace the shift in behaviour. Today, nearly every business has a website and is participating in some form of digital marketing. Many are choosing digital advertising over traditional print advertising as costs are lower and results can be accurately measured.

So what does this all mean for print?

Many recent studies have actually shown that print still has an important part to play in the marketing mix and here’s why:

Print engages the brain – A study conducted by Bangor University concluded that tactile, printed materials are more ‘real’ to the brain. Being able to physically hold a piece of media engages with the brain’s spatial, which is important for memory and brand associations.

Strong emotional response – A piece of printed material has a much stronger emotional response in comparison to digital. Digital media captures one sense, sight. Printed material captures three of our five senses, sight, touch and smell. Consumers are more than likely to spend longer engaging with printed material over digital.

A trusted source of media – Traditional media compared to digital is viewed as more trustworthy. As a result, consumers invest more time and attention into printed material, and tend to care more. After all, we’ve all heard of the expression “Don’t believe everything you read online”.

Longer attention span and fewer interruptions – The world is full of distractions, but you’re often more distracted when using digital technologies. Neurological research shows that readers are more likely to skim read digital content quickly, and the experience is often interrupted with advertising and notifications. When handling a piece of printed material, our attention span is extended. We are more likely to stop all other activities to focus solely on that piece of content.

Lasting impression – It’s all about leaving that lasting impression. Digital communications can be here today and gone tomorrow, with budgets governing their lifespan. Printed communication will last as long as the material itself. The impact of a glossy brochure is a powerful thing, leaving a lasting impression simply from its existence, but also from the finishing and messaging within.

At Resolution, we welcome the continual development of digital technology but strongly believe that a combination of great digital design and strong printed materials is the way forward.

Take a look at some of the beautiful printed materials we’ve produced over the years.

Written by. Rhiannon Higgs

Rhiannon Higgs