Print — The Gateway Media

[responsive]PR02151[/responsive]As marketers we seem to be coming to a collective grip on the fact that our customers are living in a multi-channel world. It is no longer a question of “digital or print” as we put our campaigns together. Rather we are looking at creative solutions to integrate both in ways that engage our customers and drive them closer toward us.

Now more than ever it is incumbent on print designers to acknowledge the gap between print and digital, and leverage print’s ability to build the bridge.

“While it’s true that designers and agencies are under more pressure to provide digital and web based solutions, that doesn’t mean that the demand for print design is waning,” says Roberto Black in Print Magazine. “It simply means that the market for print has shifted, and the way it’s being leveraged has changed.”

According to Blake, as print becomes more accessible and more affordable to both consumers and small businesses, this leverage is easier than ever to tap into.

“Consumers and other businesses recognize that money is commitment,” Blake says, and that gives your company more legitimacy.

“By producing print collateral, you demonstrate to potential clients, colleagues and business partners that you are willing to invest in your business,” he continues. “Beyond that, print elements also offer a tangible experience: handing someone a business card can make a much deeper impression than if you simply refer them to your website.”

The best “gateway” materials incorporate elements of each channel in creative and engaging ways, like the gorgeous poster of an abstract and colorful QR code that turns a piece of glossy paper on the wall into a compelling bridge to consumer interaction.

With this gateway to digital, print is more trackable than ever, something that is certainly of value to the people responsible for making marketing decisions. And, as Blake notes, “While digital design offers unlimited access, print design offers exposure and an experience.

“Print gives a customer the opportunity to physically engage with a product, service or brand and learn where to access it digitally. Both experiences are important in building loyalty and connecting with consumers,” he concludes.

As more designers work in the space between print and digital, we expect to see new examples of creative interpretations like the ones featured in Blake’s article. Creativity lives in this gap, and print is the gateway.