The Value of Hard Copies and Why They are Still Valuable

Do you spend time poring over the morning newspaper or do you prefer to get your news from the touch of a button on a website or smart phone app?  Did all of your books disappear with the invention of the e-reader?

With a rapid increase of smart technology in all aspects of our daily life, it sometimes feels that the existence of print is threatened with extinction altogether. However, despite the fact that we are most definitely in a digital age, we definitely shouldn’t forget about the important role that print plays – and will likely continue to do so for a long time.

Print Vs Digital

With a digital revolution on our hands, how can you keep your print content alive and relevant?  If you are looking to invest in hard copies such as leaflet printing or booklet printing then you’ll need to consider the factors that make your print stand out head and shoulders against the web.

Let’s take a look at some advantages that print has over its digital rivals:

Target the Senses

E-Readers just don’t cut it – it’s not just the content of a book that’s important to many readers; it’s the thumbing of the pages, the flicking back and forth, the highlighting of certain passages or writing notes in the border.  Reading a book can be a whole sensory experience which is impossible to get from modern technology

The Ability to Target a Niche Audience

With so many people having a web presence these days, it can be all too easy to blend into the background.  Despite paper being thousands of years old, it can still have a huge impact on today’s world.   Producing hard copies in print can allow you to target niche audiences and using ‘old school’ techniques such as brochure printing may surprise and impress certain audiences, which may see it as a quirky alternative to digital.

Forget about Black and White - What about the Green?

One of the most commonly asked questions over printing a hard copy is the impact it has on the environment and the carbon footprint that it creates.  Digital may have advantages with many businesses offering paperless statements and bills to their customers, but have you ever tried to bury a smart phone or PC?  Digital technology also raises a number of questions including energy use, disposal of hardware and the long-term impact of using electronics. With sustainable, recycled paper in regular use by printers, there is little to argue between the two.

Putting the Audience First

Printed folders still play a vital role in many industries in particular the legal and education sector, notably where key information needs to be digested.

Smart phones and laptops may help students with elements of research and revision, yet digital technology fails to match the strength of a written document or a textbook when it comes to comprehension.   Not only is print much easier to read but also has the advantage of removing the temptation of browsing on social media or other websites which cause temporary procrastination.

Although the older generation are the biggest growing audience for digital media, many in this age group still appreciate printed hard copies of magazine or brochures.  The idea of digital technology is likely to put them off certain services if they find that they are difficult to access.

In reality, there is absolutely no reason why the mediums of print and digital shouldn’t be able to live harmoniously side-by-side.  The most important thing to consider is to make sure that your content is relevant for your particular audience.  If you aren’t connecting with your audience in the right way, then the medium that you are using is unlikely to the problem.