In defence of the printed publication
Nothing lands on the desk quite like a well-produced printed publication. The impact and engagement are uniquely irresistible. The feel, the smell, the touch all pervade. Print-on-paper has been around for a very long time, it has served us well and it still resonates with us.
Better - the messages within can come straight from the corporate soul; no need to be in thrall to some Californian tech behometh’s policy or some community editor’s whim. What you say is constrained only by English Law and your own good judgement. The content is not so easily re-cycled, re-invented, or otherwise piggy-backed upon, it’s a crafted piece of your company’s intellectual capital, tailored to suit. Whether you call it branding, or as I prefer, identity, nothing reinforces it quite like a well-produced publication.
Some of the skills of the vastly underestimated “inky-fingered craftspeople” of the print industry like photo-enhancement have long since become mass market tools, but others - proofing and particularly typography have been mistakenly overlooked. Well-typeset copy is increasingly hard to find other than on the shelves of second-hand book shops. It is a dying art, like coopering or dry-stone-walling. But good typography enhances the reading experience, underpins grammar and prose-style and heightens clarity.
We are regular print publishers, on our own behalves as well as our clients’. We follow our own editorial whim, unless otherwise directed, work to our own parameters and take pride in the quality of our output. Search-friendly phrases are of no consequence and rich content exists as a raison d’etre rather than a box ticked.
We predict a limited renaissance of the printed word in communications, led by organisations with stories to tell, the ones with intellectual capital that can’t ever be conveyed in a 140 characters.
The skills still exist, can be passed on, adopted for new times and new media. But the old media should still have a part to play.