In the modern day and age, everything is social. As a society, we’re expected to share our experiences, memories, what we do, and engage with other people while doing it. No, this isn’t in person, this is all done online. To aid this, we want instant easy and convenient access to our social networks and friends on them at all times. I myself am guilty of being guilty of tweeting from my phone white Facebooking on my computer. Why are we so obsessed with social media? It’s unique; and allows the content we receive to be consistently new, relevant, and exciting.
This influx of social technology isn’t going to stop anytime soon. In 2013 alone social media had 1.15 billion users. That’s a little over 14% of the world’s population. Social media now links people together in unexpected ways. Using mobile, desktop, and cloud devices, people are connected to one another in more ways than ever before. Social media is now able to predict trends in behavior and emotion, based on users. Marketers are now responding to predicted trends and speedily pushing content to users based on personalized interest.
What about print?
While many believe that print will be rendered obsolete by the sharing of information and interest online, the opposite couldn’t be truer. The overall function of printers is to (literally) publish content that people want or need – whether that be information, images, posters, cards, etc. This might even be content that people don’t know they need, such as promotional information. This kind of information is easy to scroll past online, but when it’s in a customer’s hand they’re more likely to read it.
Keeping consumers interested in print is a challenge that can’t be denied. Graphics need to be bigger, messages need to be enticing, and printed pieces have to meet the expectations we have from spending so much time online. To do this, printers and designers have to keep up with trends in graphics, typography, and overall layout. They also need to consider if they need to emboss, die-cut, or foil stamp the project. Will it be printed letterpress, offset, or digital? Finally, what material will they print on, and does it play into the rest of the printed piece?
Making a printed piece count
The answer is yes. In a world that thrives on unique content and the next big thing, a printed piece as a whole must be exciting and intriguing. That has to start with what the piece is printed on. Plain white materials just aren’t going to cut it in a world where innovation and creativity are key. Graphics and materials need to complement each other as well as the application they are being printed for. For applications that are vintage, printable wood veneer is a great material that give invitations, business cards, and more an antique touch. Holiday promotions that are being mailed have strong durability with silver and gold PVC, as well as resistance to UV degradation. Packaging, displays, and magazines get a boost of sparkle with metallic foil boards that catch the eye from the self; plus 3D materials and lenticulars give graphics true depth and dimension
Using materials, graphics, and great content, printers can stay ahead of the social curve and give people a pull back to the real world with printed pieces that delight and inspire.