Debunking the Paperless Society Myth

A paperless society… how’s that working out?

How long have you heard the predictions of how technology will effectively off the medium known as print?  With the downfall and financial struggle of many newspapers and other traditional publishing sources and the rise of electronic communications, I’m guessing you’ve maybe even wondered about it yourself.

While it is fair to say that these traditional publishers are clinging to life in many circles, print as an overall medium isn’t going anywhere.  As a matter of fact, there are large mobs, members of the general public, that would riot if you took away their printed documents.  Those mobs of people simply prefer a printed, tangible piece of paper over its “soft” electronic sibling.

Even if you’re a digital fanboy like me and wish that paper could be banished, chances are when you think about it, print is still pretty striking.  In many cases, print represents value – it is more memorable, people hang onto print pieces longer and examine them in greater detail.

While an email might get a memo out just fine, functionally speaking, a slick, color-rich, glossy booklet that showcases products, concepts or services just feels more important than the same thing in a PDF – that remains true, even for me, an “all-electronic guy.”

So while there may be less print, keep in mind that what you do print is expected to be better looking, more professional and more worthwhile in today’s technology-laden age.  Showcasing your best marketing collateral and other important pieces via high quality print is a smart investment that will carry your message much further than the electronic equivalent possibly could.

A silver lining in the print vs. electronic dynamic is that print technologies, such as digital printing and Web2Print services, have made high quality print services (even in short runs) more affordable and accessible than ever before.

Bottom line: Print your best, most important stuff.  It will have an immediate increased perceived value, and by limiting what you print, these important messages will stand out that much more.


Photo courtesy of Karen Horton

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