Print design often goes neglected in one way or another. To some digital marketing agencies, it represents a bygone discipline. As the world continues to spin faster, customers demand immediate gratification from the brands and products they interact with. This often comes in the form of apps, web interfaces, and even digital billboards.
To us, good print design is still invaluable expertise that gives brands an undeniable advantage, even when working alongside digital design. A creative agency knows design doesn’t happen in a vacuum. A logo, for example, must be considered in all its forms, whether it’s on the side of a building or an iPhone background. Digital design sees stronger results when it’s done with print in mind, and vice-versa.
Brand continuity across mediums is an essential part of solidifying a positive brand perception. Too often, physical assets are less frequently updated than their digital counterparts, and key relationship-building touchpoints such as mailers and business cards appear disconnected from an organization’s digital presence.
One reason for this is that physical creative assets are often costly to produce, and as a result, can go unchanged for long periods of time. For medium to large businesses, print design is a staple in the marketing mix with a track record of driving new business. Print marketing can get you in front of a local audience quickly, but your design will need to be top-notch to stand out from the other mailers and make an impression in order to be read (let alone elicit consideration above your competitors).
All in all, good print design is a time-consuming and expensive process. You can’t settle for mediocrity. Your print design has to have a meaningful impact on the perception of your organization. The messaging has to be spot-on, or have a remarkable quality that does a good job of making an impact on first sight. Besides, you’re going to kill a tree… so it has to be very effective, right?
Popular print media examples include postcards, magazine inserts, flyers, newspaper ads – but there are subtler, important options to consider. Your business cards, event table cards, and waiting room signage are all opportunities to reinforce your brand image. These are key ways your print design can affect your brand equity, and are often tied to a meaningful relationship-building experience.
Why do digital brands need print design?
Most organizations understand the importance of translating a stellar web experience into quality on-location interactions. In the digital age, the reverse is also true and often left unconsidered. A large portion of marketing efforts are executed online. If a prospect is attracted to your website, but unimpressed with your in-person experience, you will lose them. Print design is an opportunity to carry a polished brand and web experience into the physical world.
The most common reasons we find ourselves working in print on behalf of our clients include:
- Trade shows, meetings, and in-person exchanges. Selling digital products in person can be quicker with a leaflet than directing someone to a URL.
- Future-proofing for potential expansions in product offering, or pivots as the business and customer taste changes over time. Print materials at the ready can accommodate these changes in trajectory.
- High-quality brochures to leave a meaningful impression, particularly after an in-person exchange, meeting, or Trade Show
- Well-crafted design doubles as art. There’s no larger impression you can leave than when a customer is practically convinced to hang your brand on their wall.
We find that if we don’t have this conversation with clients, they may not have even realized there are opportunities in print. Print and advertising have gone hand in hand for a long time, and while the extraordinary opportunities in digital advertising are expanding, it’s still a significant force in moving the needle for many industries.
Even if you’re not updating your logo or undergoing a full rebrand, a new website opens a door and invites new stylistic elements to your brand’s ecosystem. Consistency in brand appearance needs to be maintained, so signage, packaging, and more need to evolve simultaneously to reflect the current stage of the brand. Print design is often disconnected from these brand updates, leaving tremendous opportunity on the table.
If you’d like to discuss how print design can be applied to a holistic digital strategy, reach out to us today.