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ESSAY: Print in the Digital Age

Print in the digital age...

It may be the digital age, but “it is yet, and it is still, an age of print.” Someday, perhaps, it may become a Bradbury-esque scene with people walking the tracks reciting memorized books....

“I'm still crazy. The rain feels good. I love to walk in it.”

Until that happens, print is and will remain a very potent method of communication and information capture and dissemination. In marketing terms, it means: Print still offers a unique opportunity for the marketer to control and portray a specifically targeted message utilizing a medium that is tangible, durable, and compact.

Perception and our age of options

Even as digital access becomes more portable, and as voice and digital assistants replace our need to write, or even type, the predictions signaling the demise of print remain exaggerated. Even as digital and ergonomic arguments proliferate, the need and use of print, increasingly in niche marketing, continues to thrive. From tangibility to message durability, there are innumerate advantages and opportunities provided by general, mass, and targeted print marketing. Suffice it to say that the resilience within the print industry, writ whole, speaks for itself. Even as the verbal onslaught ensued, print diligently carved out an enduring space in every successful endeavor's marketing mix.

“I'll hold on to the world tight some day. I've got one finger on it now; that's a beginning.”

Why we like to touch stuff...

It stands to reason that people like to touch things. It is one of our senses, even if often overlooked. More than that, reading print in good light can be good for the eyes. Digital displays can't readily claim that. At one time, portability was one of the greatest advantages print had to offer. Recently, and as we all know, the ability to carry information and personal entertainment has now been supplanted by portability and versatility provided digitally, yet people still put maps in their glove boxes... more maps than gloves, I would argue.

I suggest that technological developments have advanced all sectors. Even as a corporation's annual report is published online, the print business for annual reports persists, for example. When it comes to some forms of documentation and promotion, there is simply nothing better than to provide a tangible object.

Why print will never “die”

As long as Humans share their space with things, which is forever, ink on paper, dies on fabric, and graphic representations on 3D things of all shapes and sizes will occupy our space. With the trending being as it is, prolific suggestions that our environment will become indelibly stamped with brands and messaging seems to be on track. The addition of the digital medium is going to have to work awfully hard to stamp out this process… and print will proliferate in this space for years to come.

This may sound Orwellian, but marketers have been tasked to carve recognition from the din since the second Kebob stand set up in Istanbul. I am being facetious of course, but the truth lies in the fact that there are things that can be accomplished in print that can not be achieved in any other medium. It is therefore your task, with our help if you wish, to determine those unique opportunities where print can help you achieve your marketing goals.


BRIGHTIDEADESIGN has it's foundation deep in the roots of fundamental communication. Whether it is understanding the graphic styling represented in Soviet-era posters or street-art; or, keeping current in the latest trends on "the Interwebs", we delight in understanding the methods of effective communication and putting this knowledge to work preparing your message... and generating the interest you are seeking.

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