Eight Reasons Why Print Still Matters in a Digital World

Eight Reasons Why Print Still Matters in a Digital World

14:39 10 October in IndyComm, KC IABC Blog

By Byron Ginsburg, KC IABC IndyComm Co-Organizer


KC IABC’s special interest groups IndyComm and Masters were recently invited to NextPage for a timely refresher on the role and impacts of paper in a digital-centric communications world.

Attendees were treated to lunch, a copy of co-sponsor Mohawk Paper’s impressive “A Maker’s Field Guide to Texture and Color,” and a tour of NextPage’s ever-expanding print and manufacturing capabilities.

Highlighting the presentation was a webinar replay titled, “The Intricacies of Design: Why Materials Matter” featuring designer Caleb Kozlowski, and a resulting discussion.

High-level takeaways underscoring the importance of paper materials to successful communications pieces included:

  1. In an increasingly online world, paper’s attributes and specifications have been inadvertently overlooked by many experienced and emerging designers
  2. The texture and tactile attributes of paper contribute to a strong first impression of printed pieces
  3. Materials matter – often as much as the design or the message – and help speak to the warmth, importance or authenticity of the event or cause that’s being communicated. Weightier business cards, often in 2X thickness, work in much the same way and are highly recommended
  4. Hand-held materials help translate ideas and intentions into thoughts and emotions that can lead to a desired action such as an event registration, RSVP, donation, etc.
  5. Using a default or commodity-style paper can undermine the message or design that’s being carried, leading to non-action or even disregard
  6. To enhance a piece’s effectiveness, match the paper’s texture to the content; perhaps use a crosshatched paper to subtly speak to the weave of a fabric or upholstery
  7. Paper color can be a fifth color to complement the traditional CMYK process – try a static design on several colored papers to see how design elements are either highlighted or backgrounded
  8. Make paper selection an early part of the project discussion and specification process. Don’t leave it until it can easily be a budget victim, compromising the project’s goals and ultimately, the results


The presentation and discussion were timely reminders of the importance of how paper as a single communications design element can complement other elements, just as you’d assemble an outfit, present your home or craft a brand.

Many thanks to NextPage, Mohawk and Veritiv for hosting this event, and their ongoing efforts to educate and support the advertising, design and marketing communities.


By Byron Ginsburg, KC IABC IndyComm Co-Organizer

Marjie Goodman

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