With the steady decline of newspapers and once strong magazines, everyone has moved online. Print has long been left behind along with rotary phones, floppy disks, and typewriters. Since print is dead, all design efforts should be focused entirely on the Internet…right?
We’ve all heard about print’s demise, but is there any substance to this? The Internet is a crucial medium for any designer, but print still holds strong for a designer’s brand. Printed products have the ability to communicate your message in a tangible and concrete way -something the Internet can’t quite do.
Just because the web and print are two dissimilar mediums does not mean they need to be mutually exclusive. Using print in tandem with your digital efforts will not only help you stand out from the competition, but also will help you grow as a designer.
What Printed Products Can Do for Your Design
Printed products add an extra dimension to your online design business and allows you to expand your methods of reaching potential customers. Growing your personal brand can seem daunting in the vastness of the Internet, but mixing a print aspect to your business will help solidify it.
Here are just a few things that well-crafted print products can add to your branding:
- Increase Credibility – Anyone these days can create a website and put whatever they want on it. The sheer amount of designs occupying the digital landscape can be overwhelming and a designer can easily disappear in the crowd. A printed piece is a tangible object that can’t be simply clicked away from, which gives your personal brand a sense of realness and legitimacy that breaks through the digital clutter.
- Encourage Engagement – A printed work is more engaging to a potential customer than a webpage that can be skimmed and easily passed over. A personalized palpable business card or postcard for your client will be much more memorable than something similar in digital form.
- Stand out from the Competition – Everyone has easy access to make their own website these days. Differentiate your business from the competition by having more than just an online presence. With many companies moving completely over to the internet, this is the perfect time capitalize on a much less crowded market of print products.
- Strengthen Branding – Stay consistent with your online identity and solidify your design brand with print materials. Your print design should encompass everything involving your brand. Business cards, postcards, and other marketing materials should convey your message every time and help to reinforce your overall brand identity.
Printed products can help your business thrive especially when used alongside your online efforts. The key to getting this right is maintaining a strong balance between the two mediums.
Balancing the Web and Print
Mixing print with your digital efforts to promote yourself as a designer is crucial for success. A strong print strategy is necessary for any designer looking to grow their personal brand. This is not to suggest that designers should move their efforts completely back to print. Creating a strong online presence is still extremely important for any designer worth their salt, but maintaining a good balance is vital.
Just because print is a stationary object doesn’t mean it can’t be interactive like web platforms are. Printed products can always be used to point traffic back to your online platforms. With technologies like QR codes and the emerging Near Field Communication, you’re able to connect your clients back to your online platforms in a more engaging fashion.
As a designer, building a personal brand is essential, and harmonizing your digital and print efforts will only help enhance that. While many businesses have completely moved over to the Internet for any and all promotional efforts, print continues to maintain its position as a powerful tool for branding.
Making the Move to Print
Print can be tremendously effective, especially when it works along with your digital efforts. Instead of forgoing print entirely, reassess the medium and mold it to fit with your brand. Impress your clients with the ability to translate your product or design to physical form.
Make sure graphics like your logo works well in a physical and digital form. Just because it looks great on a computer screen doesn’t mean it will in print, as there are a few differences between online and print design.
Things like packaging, business cards, and product design are all examples of physical things that should reflect your online brand. Keep your branding consistent across both platforms and make sure your designs translate well in both mediums.
Print has the capability to transform your designs into something that web can’t do all by itself. Finding the perfect balance between both digital and print mediums will help your growth and appeal to a larger group of clients. With its ability to inspire engagement, increase credibility, and separate from the competition, print can only help to improve your personal brand.
If you have any examples of how you have incorporated print into your business please and would like to give some advice feel free to share!
About the Author
Katherine Halek is the lead advertising and print strategy advisor at Signazon and Easybanners.com, leading online printers that provide marketing collateral for thousands of pet care businesses around the United States. Katherine enjoys writing about entrepreneur pet sitters, small pet care businesses, and the ins and outs of advertising. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.