Hats Off to Print
Domtar Paper’s Blueline is either a small magazine or a very complex and content rich brochure. I’m going to call it a magazine, since that’s what Domtar calls it, but the label really isn’t important. What is important is print.
“Think of Blueline Magazine as a supplement to our blog and website,” reads the introduction. No, I’m sorry Domtar, I won’t think of this as a supplement. Your blog, your website, your Twitter feed and your Instagram account, all fall short of your magazine. Your internet presence is the supplement. The magazine is the star.
Awash with color, mingling different stocks, jammed with content — some fluff but some really technical and useful stuff —this promotional piece merits your subscription. I’m so glad to see paper mills once again sparing no expense to promote their wares. After all, touch and feel are paper’s raison d’être. You can’t synthesize that with an online video.
A recent issue featured a side-by-side comparison of an identical four-color photo printed on Lynx Opaque Ultra Cover and on Lynx Cream White Cover.
“See the difference?” says the caption. “Notice how the warm shades of Lynx Cream White amplifies skin tones — adding authenticity and depth.” Yes Domtar, I did notice. You can post photos on Instagram all day, but you’ll never be able to make this point. Only with print can such subtle shading be controlled, demonstrated and employed to its best advantage.
Another magazine that recently crossed my desk is PostPress, weighing in at a robust 80 pages. Past attempts have been made to publish trade magazines targeted at the bindery but with limited success. That’s a shame, since the bindery is the most complex department in most print organizations, and often presents the opportunity to add the most value.
Hats off to the Foil & Specialty Effects Association (FSEA) for deftly blending content about traditional subjects, such as cutting, folding and bookbinding, with more exotic topics like coating, foiling and packaging. There’s something for everyone in PostPress Magazine. What a great way for FSEA to demonstrate the value and wide-range appeal of their association.
Another magazine-style newsletter that grabbed my attention is Print Illustrated, courtesy of Fujifilm. The front cover of the issue that came across my desk used almost every special effect trick in the UV book: gloss coating, reticulated coating, metallics and dimensional patterns.
The content is mostly advertisement, but I was delighted to see such an example of the possible techniques available for catching a customer’s interest. May I say it one more time? These special effects can only be done with print. Websites, blogs, email, video and social media are all restricted to screens. Touch, feel and even the reflection of light from a foil or coating, are the exclusive purview of print.
In short, I didn’t subscribe to any of these magazines. They came in the mail, made it past my secretary because she thought they looked interesting, and were then passed on to me. These organizations may have emailed me; if so, I’ve deleted their emails unread.
How do you get the attention of that curmudgeon in Johnson’s World, or anyone else for that matter? Better use print!
One parting thought. I recognize that not everyone has the budget, the talent or the resources to produce their own magazine. All of the examples above consumed a sizable amount of time, talent and treasure to achieve such fine-end products.
This, I fear, is where the little guy often goes wrong.
“I’ll use email instead. It doesn’t cost anything (well, no postage anyway) and I can whip up an email blast myself in no time.” Even those people who open your email (the percentage is abysmally low) can tell right away you did it yourself haphazardly without a budget.
If you can’t create your own print magazine or even a newsletter, think about what else you could send to make a prospect stand up and take notice.
Goes Lithography got my attention with a couple of jars of River Valley Ranch Portabella Salsa, made locally near Goes Litho’s home in Wisconsin. The package piqued my interest on arrival, and the portabella salsa was deliciously different. I even saved the jar so I can buy more of it.
Like print, a three-dimensional package stimulates the sense of touch. Just about everyone likes to eat and, remember, you can’t replicate taste and smell in an email!
Steve Johnson, president and CEO of Copresco in Carol Stream, Ill., is an executive with 40 years of experience in the graphic arts. He founded Copresco, a pioneer in digital printing technology and on-demand printing, in 1987. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.copresco.com