• PrintMag

6 Reasons Why Print Design Will Continue to Thrive

Roberto Blake will be speaking at HOW Design Live 2016. Register today to hear his presentation, “Cutting Through the Noise: Social Media for Creatives.”

Believe it or not, the print industry does not need saving. If you’re a designer, this might surprise you. It’s likely you’ve heard many print professionals bemoaning the necessity of learning coding and other digital skills in order to attain job security, but that isn’t the whole story.

While companies are leaving print behind in order to embrace marketing tactics that have lower cost, measurable results and a higher ROI, there are still many industries and professions that rely on and embrace print marketing and as a result create opportunities for print designers. For freelancers and small design studios, the print industry is booming in a whole new way. Here are 6 reasons why:

Online Entrepreneurs

You may find it hard to believe that many online entrepreneurs market offline. Networking is one of the most important activities for online entrepreneurs, so having print materials still does matter for them when attending conference or events, or when sending out marketing materials to current and potential clients. Many online entrepreneurs even host their own events and need signage, banners and table displays created.

Design Week Birmingham 2014 Event Materials // Lewis Communications, Birmingham, AL; www.lewis communications.com: Spencer Till (creative director), Roy Burns III (creative director/art director/designer/ writer), David Blumberg, Andrew Thompson, Cana Grooms (art directors/designers), Kathy Oldham, Stephen Curry (writers); Design Week Birmingham (client)

Trade Shows

The trade show industry is alive and well, which means large-format printing is too. A seasoned print designer and production artist can find large-budget projects within the trade show community. This can include everything from table displays to large point of purchase cut-outs. These design jobs are usually more technical and very costly if done wrong, so it is easily worth paying a designer top dollar to get it right.

studiotwentysix2 Type Posters studiotwentysix2, Norman, OK; www.studiotwentysix2.com: Tom Davie (creative director/art director/designer); studiotwentysix2 (client)

studiotwentysix2 Type Posters studiotwentysix2, Norman, OK; www.studiotwentysix2.com: Tom Davie (creative director/art director/designer); studiotwentysix2 (client)

Public Speakers

If there is anyone still leveraging print marketing collateral it is public speakers. This isn’t limited to business cards either. Many public speakers, depending on their audience, tend utilize leave behinds such as brochures or even printed t-shirts or tent cards. Public speakers take their brand very seriously  and they also are usually being paid enough to invest in their image.

Independent Authors

Authors are often not only solo entrepreneurs, but they also tend to be public speakers who go on tour to promote their book. There is a lot of print business and design work to be had by connecting with these authors. You could easily not only end up designing their book, but all of their marketing materials and visual branding as well. Because they have a product to sell, they are more committed to quality. Even with digital books gaining traction, print books still give a sense of legitimacy and prestige.

Check out 25 award-winning book and book cover designs from the 2015 PRINT Regional Design Annual. 

Event Marketing

It almost goes without saying that event marketing is one of the best examples of an industry that has an ever-increasing demand for print design and production. With more conferences popping up around marketing, technology and countless other topics each year, the event marketing business is booming. Those designers and agencies fortunate enough to have a relationship with event marketing coordinators are making this happen, and they will see an upswing in profits. Events usually have displays, banners, signage, tent cards and even potentially printed invitations.

Azede Jean-Pierre SS15 Invite // Joseph Veazey; www.josephveazey.com: Joseph Veazey (creative director/art director/designer/illustrator); Azede Jean-Pierre (client)

We Still Love Print

Despite the convenience of digital we still love print. The sense of holding a book in our hands and owning it still matter to people. Print is an experience and one we are not quite ready to do away with.  The way we consume and value print is certainly shifting, but it will not disappear entirely as a medium, at least not in our lifetime.

The optics of a beautiful bookshelf still are impressive when you walk into a room. When we read printed words we retain them longer than when we read them on a screen. There is still a value to print and we’ve held on to things much less practical than print, with much less reason to.

Yokan Packaging // Yoko Nire Studio; www.yokonire.com: Yoko Nire (creative director/art director/designer), Jason Booher, Katarzyna Gruda (instructors); B.S. Network, Japan (client)

There is still plenty of work out there for print designers, and now they have a better idea of where to look. It may not be the 9 to 5 job they might be hoping for, but there might be no greater job security than the demands of a growing market in which budgets are not in short supply but talent might be. As usual, the reports of the death of print and print design have been greatly exaggerated.

PRINT’s Regional Design Annual has arrived! Get your copy of the issue or check out the galleries, and be sure to enter the 2016 Regional Design Annual for a chance to see your work showcased in the pages of our landmark December issue. Deadline March 11!