Some might feel like the end of print is near, especially when seeing one publication after another switch to full online or mobile editions. Add to this the often hypocritical hype surrounding the need to be green friendly and the picture does start to look quite gloomy.
However, if we look closely, we’ll realize there’s a lovely trend of rediscovering the organic beauty associated with the printed page. Yes, this is often the case with art books and limited hardcover editions, but it doesn’t have to be. Unlike the Internet, where there still are plenty of limitations regarding the actual design elements you can use, on paper there’s a significantly greater freedom of expression. While at first this might seem like a huge relief, it’s actually very challenging. Having a wider array of tools increases the number of choices you have to make in order to achieve a desirable end results. Still, that’s exactly why it’s such an incredible ride, where you seldom have time to get bored and which allows you to learn new things each and every day.
The main advantage of print is that it can be felt in a way virtual publications can never be. You can touch it to feel the texture of the paper or of the various varnishes used, you can smell the fresh scent and you can admire the sweet look of how colors blend into a surface.
Besides all these subtle notes there are some other, quite important, aspects related to print which make it a perfect companion to online promotion. Wouldn’t it be awkward when dealing with clients face to face to directly refer them to your website rather than first entice them with a professionally designed flyer, leaflet of brochure? What about a catalog which can be browsed over and over again without the need to open your computer or wait for the graphics to load? Let’s also not forget those promotional projects which mix tips or other useful information with great design in order to disguise advertising efforts.
For a print project to be successful there’s often the need to reach a perfect mix between:
- flexible layout and thorough understanding of information hierarchy;
- professional typography;
- properly selected photography and illustrations;
- appropriate color schemes that would please your target audience;
- just the right amount of courage and craziness that would free your creativity without bending the rules beyond the point of no return;
- attention to details and the desire to always explore alternative solutions;
- passion for simplicity;
A well designed print item, either if it’s a simple business card on stock paper or a lavish booklet with embossed elements, die cuts and expensive looking finishes, has the potential to stay with your client long before the very first encounter. For example a business card that doubles up as a calendar or provides some measuring tools if it’s targeted towards architects would become a handy item people might end up carrying with them in their wallet. That’s why it’s always unfortunate to ignore such great potential.