In our digital world the word ‘paperless’ gets thrown around a bit carelessly in my opinion. There are just some things that shouldn’t, or flat out can’t, be done without some paper usage. In fact, the list of such activities is pretty lengthy. One in particular stood out to me: graphic design.


The idea that a designer may try to work without using paper or print seems nonsensical. They are such critical components of not only the design process, but the marketing process in general. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of them?


Here are 3 solid reasons for print and paper to always remain staples in the design and marketing worlds:


  • Design needs to make an impact, whether you are designing for print or digital. Print has a leg up on this because the end result is not just something to look at but a physical piece that creates a positive sensory input experience. You get to touch print and feel different textures, shapes, special effects like embossing, and some pieces you can even smell, be it just the paper and ink or an intentionally scented piece.


  • The average direct mail response rate outperforms all digital channels combined by nearly 600 percent according to the Direct Marketing Association’s 2016 Response Rate Report. Researchers at Temple University may have discovered the reason for this. They found that when we look at a physical ad, the section of our brain responsible for value judgments and desire becomes active, making us more likely to act on what we see. They also confirmed the theory that we remember a physical ad longer and more accurately.


  • Putting pen to paper can combat designer’s block. For instance, think about the process used to design a logo. Before you produce a finished piece a lot of brainstorming usually takes place and paper is great for that stage too. Doodling and sketching is a very efficient way to get ideas flowing. You can also use paper to draw up quick drafts of your design ideas while meeting with customers to give them a visual of what you have in mind and ensure that you are on the same page.


The bottom line is that print and paper are extremely useful and effective. If you are not already using print and paper as part of your design, creative or brand process, then your repertoire would benefit greatly by adding them.


If you are looking for more stats on the effectiveness of print and paper, I strongly recommend subscribing to the Blueline Magazine right now!