There needs to be a support group for ink-on-paper sniffers, according to Jill DiNicolantonio of Parse & Parcel.
She came to this conclusion after asking her LinkedIn group members the first thing they did when they received a new print sample. To a one, they indulged their senses: they smelled it, they ran their hands over it, they sat and gazed and generally drank it all in.
Paper has that ability to engage, in a more deep and profound way than digital. An oft-quoted study by Millward Brown proves, using MRI, that “tangible materials leave a deeper footprint in the brain.” This suggests to the researchers that physical materials, i.e. print, are more “real” to the brain than their digital counterparts.
DiNicolantonio proved it to herself when she received the new Print & sample book by Sappi.
“This piece put me in sensory overload. I found myself doing exactly what others in the discussion had stated,” she relates.
“First I ran my hand across the luxurious cover, noticing the smooth hand of the paper and then feeling the spot gloss UV on the image. As I opened the cover, I give the sheet a good flick with my thumb and listen for a snap.”
The relationship grows as she dives deeper into the experience.
“Inside, I am drawn to the soft touch coating on the interior cover. I page through the piece and am struck by the gorgeous combination of photography, illustration and typography Studio Kinrichs is known for. I notice the balance between the positive and negative spaces. Stopping on a spread that calls readers to interact, I pay attention to the solid black area to see if it passes the ‘orange peel’ test. I scour it looking for the tiniest imperfection in coverage (non-glare coated papers are very unforgiving when it comes to large areas of solids like black or metallics). Of course there’s none – this is McCoy we’re talking about,” she writes.
We know a fellow print geek when we come across one. We get it. The touch, the feel, the scent, the entire experience of a well-printed piece leads to the kind of engagement you just can’t put down.