You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.

Albert Einstein

The Death of Print: Myth or Reality?

— The Death of Print: Myth or Reality? — The Death of Print: Myth or Reality?

Branding, Business, Creativity

Is Print Really Dead?

A couple of months ago I was contacted by Idn Magazine, a design publication from Hong Kong. Their upcoming edition talks about brand identity, and more specifically business cards. I was thrilled to learn they wanted to feature our projects in their new edition and asked for my insights on the relevance of printed materials today. This email made my month and triggered a safari of ideas in my head.

“Print is dead!”. That’s what haters will say. For UI/UX designers and some business owners, printed materials have been dead for the past twenty years when social media started killing marketing and advertising as we knew it.

Twenty years sounds like a lot of time, but in retrospect, time can flow like water through your fingers, making two decades feel like yesterday. Social media and Web 2.0 transformed life in unimaginable ways, especially for a millennial like me, who has lived half in analog and half in digital, making me feel like I was born either too late or too early.

We millennials have lived a part of our lives with bicycles, cinemas, VHS, MTV, and uncensored bullying, which have been gradually replaced by smartphones, Netflix, Spotify, Uber, and fourth-place trophies.

Before social media, print was a thing: For breakfast, we didn’t scroll through our Facebook feed, we read the back of our cereal box or the newspaper. Cluttered catalogs have turned into e-commerce, and we’ve exchanged random flyers in the mail for hyper-targeted Meta ads. Thanks to social media and digital marketing, you can now connect with people around the clock, with a purpose and in a targeted way. The tables have turned making digital communication the new normal.

If you look around your house right now, chances are you won’t be able to find a flyer, coupon, business card, or brochure. Most of our books are digital. We take thousands of photos but only print one percent of them. Is print really dead?

My take on this is complex, and my opinion may not be popular. Right now I would compare print to one of Sookie Stackhouse’s lovers: a vampire that has been half-dead for the past ten years but is still handsome, elegant, clever, and thriving. It can sometimes look outdated and even creepy, but it can also be a beautiful rarity that can still hypnotize your customers. After all, we only print the best photos, buy the physical books when they are good enough for our library, and give out our spot-gloss business cards only to very important people.

Yes, digital is the new normal, but it is also saturated, much like printed communication was twenty years ago. Going old-school by printing a flyer for your business or sharing your brand story on the back of your packaging offers a golden opportunity worth exploiting. Today a well-designed packaging, brochure, or business card is a sexy vampire waiting to use its fangs on whoever has eyes to see.

Whether it’s print or digital, we can help your business thrive. Schedule a free discovery call today, and let’s talk!