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Commentary & Analysis

Sound Off! Why Do You Love Print?

As an industry, we fiercely defend print because our livelihoods depend on it. But we love it, too. Professionals from around the industry share why they are print nerds. How about you?

By Heidi Tolliver-Walker
Published: February 23, 2018

When I see a LinkedIn post with a zillion comments, I’m always intrigued. Not by the post necessarily, but by the comments. Only a few posts generate that kind of reaction, so I want to see what people are saying. Recently, the post generating lots of comments was in the Print Production Professionals group. The question posed (and answered in the comments) was the same as the title of the post: “Why Do You Love Print?”

Here is a selection of responses.

“Print helps humans celebrate life.”

—Deborah Corn, Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse

“The power of the printed word has changed lives, cultures, and nations. Gutenberg's Bible put the power of the Word of God into every person’s hands. The Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers showed the power of the printed word to disseminate competing thoughts and debate to the masses. There isn't any other medium that compares to what print has done for the individual or for the world.”

—Glenn Arens, co-owner, Flying A Canine Ranch (Detroit)

“I love print because it does three things, in a unique manner, that have changed the world throughout history and continue to do so today:

Communication: Without print, we wouldn't know much about the history of our world.

Decoration: Without print, we wouldn't have art reproductions...and most cool T-shirts.

Fabrication: Without print, we wouldn't have flat screen TVs or mobile phones.

“Print may also have been responsible for (or at least instrumental in) starting a few revolutions and couple of wars, but, hey, everything good has a dark side too.”

—Paul Gardner, consultant, TimeStarvd (Salt Lake City)

“Why do I love print? Because I love books, and I love books because of my love for words. Seeing [words] come to life on whatever the material just brings joy to my heart. Also, without print, I think we would lose that primary link with our past.”

—Astou Mbaye, data communications management (Montreal)

“Print produces experiences you can't get digitally. Turning the page...flipping through to sneak a peak...how many more pages to go?! I'll read one more page...The emotions that come from a touch of a well-produced piece with a textured paper with special finishes—ahhh, print!”

—Melanie Warren, president, Warren's Printing Place Inc. (Ontario)

“The tactile and visual experience cannot be beat. Each day, a print producer can say, ‘I made that.’ Take an idea and bring it to life. I always wanted my son’s first word to be ‘cyanmagentayellowandblack.’ Sadly, it was ‘fire truck.’ Print on!”

—Marnie Lucas, senior freelance print production manager (Chicago)

“Print touches the senses in a way that digital never will.”

—Brenda Grajeda, project manager, Sky Ute Casino Resort (Greater Los Angeles)

“I've been a print producer for over 20 years and am still enthused by all the possibilities for each design. It’s a real joy to help bring the creative to life in a tangible piece of work. I’m a #printaddict for sure.”

—Diane Simon, project management and printing professional (Los Angeles)

Now I encourage you to sound off. Why do you love print?

Heidi Tolliver-Walker Heidi is an industry analyst specializing in digital, one-to-one, personalized URL, and Web-to-print applications. Her Marketer’s Primer Series, availalbe through Digital Printing Reports, includes “Digital Printing: Transforming Business and Marketing Models,” 1:1 (Personalized) Printing: Boosting Profits Through Relevance,” “Personalized URLs: Beyond the Hype,” and “Web-to-Print: Transforming Document Management and Marketing.”

 

Discussion

By David Avery on Feb 23, 2018

My passion for print began in High School. The school board cut funding for my Alternative School the first day of spring break. We quickly built plans to fight this. Including printing 1000's of handbills and distributing them to sway public opinion. We won the fight.
Power of the press (Even if it was a mimeo machine).
How would the enlightenment succeed without printing? Would the American Revolution have happened without "Common Sense"?
Yes, public commentary seems to be moving away from print - but Quality Newspapers are still the best, least biased, best vetted, source for news in todays cluttered noisy landscape.

 

By Heidi Tolliver-Walker on Feb 23, 2018

Love it! I just can't relax and read a book on a screen. It has to be paper. There is something emotionally comforting about holding a book in your hand and flipping physical pages. It makes it seem more "real."

Interestingly, counselors use paper, too. For people in emotional pain, there is power in putting it on paper. It gets it "out," so to speak. To help people release painful memories, they will often suggest that they write a letter to the person who hurt them, then burn the letter. There is something about the tangible process of putting something on paper, then tangibly burning it, that helps us emotionally release.

This type of thing relates directly to marketing for the same reasons it works for other areas. It is the emotional connection and sense of reality that comes in print that cannot be replicated in digital channels.

 

By Lisa Bickford on Feb 23, 2018

The history. The production process. Being able to see something from concept to completion. The smell. The feel. The fact that what we does helps people be successful in business. The create genius - sometimes good design actually beings tears to my eyes and I put it on the same level as classic painting. Coming up with creative solutions with a great team. The people in the industry are almost without question some of the best people on the planet.

 

By Jon Kenney on Feb 23, 2018

I have been connected with print from the time I was a boy and my mother ran a classified advertising agency out of our home. I love helping people convey and preserve their message. We were recently asked to rush a project because sadly one of the authors had been admitted to hospice. Her family wrote to us and shared how meaningful it was for that author to hold that book. I was never more proud of our team for making it happen.

 

By Joe Fedor on Feb 23, 2018

From the time we started smearing colored grease on cave walls, people have been putting color on substrate as a form of artistic expression and communication. Eventually, we started applying technology to that activity so that we could do it on a large scale. This led to the business and commerce we were able to build around that fact that people wanted these printed products the tech enabled us to create.

So many of the things people have mentioned here are things that I also love about print - the feel of the paper, the smell of a book, the link with the past, etc. - but I think the reason I love print is that its a fusion of three things I also love: Art, Technology, and Business.

 

By Robert Godwin on Feb 27, 2018

Print is low-tech/high-touch social media. And I love that!

 

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