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Print's popularity on the rise among US designers, MAN Roland-sponsored study finds

Press release from the issuing company

July 13, 2007 -- The graphic arts industry’s initiatives promoting print as an effective communications medium may be having an impact. The annual survey of leading American creative professionals, conducted by Graphic Design USA and sponsored by MAN Roland, revealed that the percentage of designers working in print increased from 91% last year to 92% today.  
Reinforcing the gain, the GDUSA readers who responded to the poll said that 75% of their projects are stand-alone print or involve the creation of at least one printed piece. They also reported that 70% of their total work time is spent designing for print.
In analyzing the findings, GDUSA Publisher Gordon Kaye provided these points on print’s continuing popularity:
“Print uniquely engages the emotions and stimulates the senses with its classic strengths of permanence, tangibility, sensuality and physicality.”
“Print feels more trustworthy and credible than other media, and its very tangibility and permanence suffuses the content — and the content creator — with a sense of authenticity.”
“A well designed and well executed printed piece can be a special experience, one with resonance and impact, one that moves beyond the digital cacophony.”
The designers’ affinity for print bodes well for printing facility sales representatives, because the survey also found that 88% of respondents buy printing. “This will continue to accelerate,” the study said, “as the traditional wall between design and production comes crashing down.”
Approximately 23% say they are buying more printing than in the recent past, while 65% report they are buying the same amount. Meanwhile, 37% have bought printing online from a national service, while 19% say they are considering it.
Money was most definitely an object in choosing a commercial printer, according to the survey. Price headed the study’s list of top ten factors designers consider when selecting a facility to run their job:
1. Price
2. Quality
3. Customer Service
4. Trust and Reputation
5. Digital Short-Run Printing Capabilities
6. Environmentally Friendly Practices
7. Paper Knowledge
8. State-Of-The-Art Equipment
9. Geographic Proximity
10. Easy to Use Website
As might be expected, creative professionals are picky about their paper. Almost nine of ten say they specify, recommend, approve or buy the substrates onto which their work is printed, while 15% say they will be specifying more paper this year. And green is in, with 32% set to purchase more recycled paper in the coming months.
The designers also revealed the type of print projects they create most often. Their top 12 list of the most popular products looked like this:
1.  Brochures + Collateral
2.  Cards, Invitations + Announcements
3.  Sales Promotion Material
4.  Direct Mail
5.  Identity + Letterhead
6.  Print Advertising
7.  Annual + Corporate Reports
8.  Posters
9.  Publications + Periodicals
10. Packaging + POP
11. Catalogs
12  Calendars
MAN Roland sponsors the GDUSA survey as a service to both the creative and production sectors of the graphic communications industry. “As new alternative media battle it out for mindshare, print continues to demonstrate its strength as the leading choice for marketers, publishers and educators,” says Vince Lapinski, CEO of MAN Roland Inc. “One reason is that new pressroom technology makes print more cost effective, more attractive and more interactive than ever. But print users need to know how to activate those advantages. That’s why MAN Roland uses every opportunity we can to keep the creative community in touch with the continuing evolution of print.”
A PDF download of the study can be accessed at www.gdusa.com/issue_2007/06_jun