It’s OK to Print

If you didn’t attend AIGA Jax’s “It’s OK to Print” speaker event, then you missed out on some serious schwag! There were lots of goodies to be had at the Paper Mill Exhibition from Mac Papers awesome partners. All of the big dogs were there – Neenah, Mohawk, Domtar, Sappi, Wausau, International, New Page, Fibermark, Reich and French. These companies were handing out everything from swatch books, chip charts and printed samples, to cool promos such as a build your own clock kit from Neenah, buttons, paper “specs” glasses and posters from French and a great book on Folding and Scoring from Sappi which is filled with over 50 examples of fun folding techniques. It was a great chance to meet and talk with paper reps about their products and the latest trends and changes in the industry. Printing and paper are so major in the design world, you really can’t ever know enough about these subjects. Like all things design, this industry is constantly evolving. Which is exactly what this event was about – how print is not dead, it is here to stay and how it is still an important and viable part of today’s marketing.

The keynote speaker was Wayne Dennis, Corporate Director of Sustainability at Mac Papers. He talked about how print is still one of the most economical and environmentally responsible options you can select for marketing and all the reasons why. His talk was lively and very informative. He talked to us about what works and doesn’t work in Green Marketing, what environmental responsibility means, why it’s important and how it is not a dead issue, it is now an industry standard. He had lots of pop-questions that would appear in his presentation and each time one did he would choose someone in the crowd to toss a cute, plush World Wildlife Fund toy to for the answer which really helped keep his presentation fun and engaging.

Sustainability in design is something I am passionate about and have been researching and practicing (to the best of my abilities and client’s budgets) since college. His talk touched on many points that I am already familiar with but here are few statistics and key points I found interesting from his presentation:

  • Reading on paper is 10% easier to read and 30% easier to understand than online
  • 30% less carbon is emitted to produce a newspaper for 1 person to read a paper for 1 year than for 1 person to read online for 30 minutes.
  • Electronics use 90% fossil fuels purchased off grid
  • An average of 78% of all power used by US paper mills comes from alternative fuel sources such as wind and hydroelectric power. Some paper mills have been using green energy practices since the early 1900′s (French paper has been producing it’s paper using 100% Hydroelectric power since 1922!)
  • 98% of consumers bring mail in the day they receive it; 77% look through it that day
  • A persons mood increases 26% by the touch of tactile printed paper
  • Print is viewed as trustworthy and objective; web is viewed as timely
  • Print and electronic media work very well together:
    • Ad campaigns that combine direct mail with on online component yield up to an additional 25% response rate
    • The use of PURL’s (Personal URL’s) on print can create three times the response rate
    • QR Codes!
  • Sappi and Neenah have online programs and apps for your phone to measure how sustainable your project is based on specs that you provide

At the end of the event I came away with four large bags filled to the gills with loot from the paper mills and these closing thoughts:

  • Print is not dead but times are a changing and it has become an option, no longer the standard;
  • Print is more environmentally friendly than electronics and comes from a renewable and responsibly managed (in the US) source;
  • Print is still a powerful, important and viable medium in marketing and communication; when paired effectively with internet components – such as: calls to action directing consumers to a website, QR codes, PURL’s – marketing efforts yield much higher results/ROI.

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– amber, aiga jacksonville fan

By aigajacksonville
Published April 26, 2011