In the past few years, digital media has become increasingly popular. However, there is still a high demand for print media. From invitations to announcements, there’s a physical element with handing out business cards. It can help with forging new relationships and with establishing brand equity. Additionally, when including handwritten notes in personalized invitations, this can show a personal touch. While print is both physical and personal, researchers suggest there is a psychological reason why print is in high demand.
Here are a few points to consider when selecting print or digital and why personalized designs that tell your story or share your purpose matter most.
How We Use Digital and Print
Conduits of Communication
From texts and emails to online searches, the digital age influences how communications are shared with others. But, while some believe that “print is dead,” the opposite is actually true.
Print media is a more personal way of sharing information that can be very heart-warming and endearing. Consider receiving an exquisitely crafted gatefold invitation and opening its gate doors to reveal the details of an upcoming client appreciation party. As you physically interact with the print materials, it leaves a lasting impression.
And think about print newspapers and magazines. We love digital media on smartphones and mobile devices for their ease of use, but with print, there are no logins, passwords, spam messages, or phishing internet viruses to worry about.
While print and digital have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages, researchers have found that the brain responds differently to digital than print.
The Digital Disconnect From Content
“Paper is an information carrier par excellence and possesses an intimacy of interaction.” – Andrew Dillon
While digital makes finding information faster, there’s a resulting disconnect. The brain doesn’t retain digital information as well as it does with print.
How the Brain Retains Information
With print media, the brain establishes visual memories of where text is located, while online documents require scrolling. Jin Gerlanc and Peter Buxmann, authors of “Investigating the Acceptance of Electronic Books – The Impact of Haptic Dissonance,” refer to this as “cognitive dissonance theory.” People fail to adapt fully to digital and only grasp bits of information.
Scientists suggest that the brain retains paper-based data better than it does the digital kind. The mind processes chunked landmarks and spacing, thereby making it easier to recall text.
How the Brain Responds to Print and Digital
In a neuromarketing study on print versus digital and post-exposure memory tests for unaided brain recall, participants scored 75 percent with print, as opposed to digital, for which they only scored 44 percent. Researchers found that the ventral striatum of the brain responds more to paper than digital, which may explain why print media such as invitations, announcements, ads, and newspapers are popular.
Additionally, people aren’t grasping full content when they read. Hyperlinks in digital articles (to find information) contribute to fragmented reading. While digital media offers large quantities of information, with so much data available at once, a reader might only grasp excerpts. In the same token, digital is beneficial because it’s information that’s instantly accessible. But, it’s clear to see how paper allows for a better cognitive focus that isn’t quickly forgotten.
The Physical Intimacy of Design
“Consider the personal details that make you YOU.” – Ndidi
While design can be print and digital, it should be visually stimulating and engaging. Humans value touch and feeling unique textures and they value media that tells a story or make a statement. All paper is not created equal but if you pick the right paper for the right purpose, it adds an unmistakable depth to how your design is tangibly absorbed.
The Influence Comes From Your Story
When considering luxury invitations, bar and bat mitzvah invitations, or save-the-date reminders, personalizing designs can help share your story.
With weddings, for example, if you have a few design ideas you drafted on paper or assembled with arts and crafts, you can take that concept to a design agency for a professional touch. Advanced web design tools can turn your concept into beautifully crafted laser-cut or gold foil invites or elegantly crafted custom invitations that pique the curiosity of the people receiving them. Invitations can also be boxed, acrylic or foil-stamped to leave a lasting, more memorable impression.
The same holds true for businesses. A logo designer can assist with business branding materials to share the business’s unique story, vision, and mission statement to help them properly target their audience. Physical aspects in their products might be the raised font on their business cards or textured paper, invitations, and envelopes for corporate correspondence.
What researchers have shown is that while digital offers information, for the masses, it’s print that commands attention and makes for a more memorable experience. We can create great custom print materials that are unique, will leave lasting impressions, and will keep you top-of-mind, whether it’s for your business or personal use. But what about you? Do you prefer print for special occasions and business marketing? Or a combination of print and digital? We’d love to hear your thoughts.