Category: Interest

Expressive Writing Is Good for Your Mental Health

Domtar Newsroom

We know that writing with pen and paper is good for your brain. But it’s also good for your heart and soul. Researchers have found that people who practice expressive writing — that is, writing to help make sense of your thoughts and emotions — can experience mental and emotional benefits, including a reduction in stress, anxiety and depression and greater clarity and focus. They may even experience physical benefits. What better reasons to put pen to paper?

If you’ve been paying attention to paper trends, you already know that handwriting and journaling have made a huge comeback in recent years. Daily journaling can be calming and peaceful at the end of a busy day or in the midst of an emotionally difficult time.

“Especially with social media, a lot of people are recognizing that being digitally connected is eating up a lot of time and energy,” says Tammy Tufty, Domtar’s communications manager for paper advocacy. “They’re seeing that maybe we should go back to journaling, reading more books and just being more present.”

Why Is Journaling Good for the Soul?

James W. Pennebaker has a Ph.D. in psychology and is Regents Centennial professor at the University of Texas at Austin. His groundbreaking research on the topic of expressive writing showed that journaling not only improves our sense of mental wellbeing but also triggers actual physical benefits, such as improved immune function and faster healing.

While Pennebaker and his colleagues are focused on the scientific evidence of the benefits of writing, there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that the act of journaling helps people better understand their emotions.

“Writing has a healing effect, like a nice massage,” wrote a blogger for ADDitude, a magazine and website that focuses on ADHD. “It is comforting, like a cup of tea or a warm fireplace on a chilly night. … Journaling helps me make sense of happy and sad moments.”

Journaling can also help people with ADHD solve problems more efficiently: “Typically, we problem-solve from a left-brained, analytical perspective. Sometimes the better answer is found by engaging the intuition that comes from the right brain. Writing unlocks this side of the brain and brings an opportunity for unexpected solutions.”

The benefits aren’t limited to writing full sentences, either. Doodling on paper can also provide a sense of calm and help improve concentration.

“I’ve seen it with my own kids and with other professionals,” Tufty says. “While they’re doodling or drawing, it seems like they’re not paying attention, but actually they are because that activity is helping them stay focused.”

Begin Your Expressive Writing Journey

Whether you’re actively working through some emotional trauma or you just enjoy the calming effect of expressive writing or doodling, it’s clear that putting pen to paper is a great way to improve your mood.

Start your journaling journey by choosing your pen and paper. You don’t need anything fancy, but you should choose tools that make it easy and enjoyable to sit down to write. Maybe it’s a gel pen that writes smoothly in a color you love, or perhaps it’s a leather-bound journal that makes you smile when you touch the cover.

You might even choose a new journal with a cover design that uses Pantone’s color of the year: Classic Blue. “Blue is a really calm color,” Tufty says. “I find it interesting that Pantone chose it in a year where everything seems so unsettled. But it could be really helpful to choose a journal design with a calming color that inspires creativity and encourages you to connect pen to paper for journaling.”

Pennebaker, whose work on expressive writing and healing continues to influence psychologists, counselors and other mental health professionals, offers some practical advice for expressive writing.

  • Find a time and a place where you won’t be disturbed. Pennebaker suggests picking a time at the end of your workday or before you go to bed, but really any time of day can work as long as you can write without interruption.
  • Commit to writing for at least 15 minutes every day.
  • Once you begin, write without stopping to correct spelling or grammar. If you run out of things to write before your time is up, you can repeat what you’ve already written.
  • What you write and how you write it is completely up to you. There are no rules.
  • When you have finished your expressive writing, you can save it, burn it, erase it, tear it up or shred it. Since your writing is for you and you alone, you can decide what to do with it.

Gen Z Shows Us There’s Still Plenty of Space for Print

Freeport Press | Dave Pilcher

Welcome to tonight’s featured match!

In the blue corner … PRINT! Weighing in with more than 500 years of marketing history, this long-time champion still packs a powerful punch. But can it prove itself to the new naysayers?

In the red corner … PIXELS! This nimble and quick upstart has a lot of popular support. But a closer look at its performance has some wondering if it needs to grow up and clean up its badly damaged reputation.

Who wins? Who loses? One thing we know; the story of print versus digital is still being sold as the marketing grudge match of the century. That couldn’t be further from the truth … and we are learning it from our beloved Generation Z, the digitally-native generation.

“Every industry is experiencing a digital transformation,” writes Aron Caruso in Folio:. “For some, the pandemic has accelerated this transformation. Others, like retail, travel and QSR, are trying to quickly adapt to the new criteria of our on-demand world. Consumers are permanently changing their online consumption habits, and in some cases embracing those of years past.”

As Caruso explains, the media habits of Gen Z have thrown us all for a bit of a loop.

“Gen Z-ers and Millennials don’t want to be connected every minute of the day. Instead, they want real-life experiences and genuine connection. They love offline activities, including, dining out with friends, travel and camping. They also love to read.”

Thanks to social and behavioral researchers, we know a lot about Generation Z. Born between 1995 and 2015, this is the first generation to be raised on the internet and social media, and the oldest of them have entered the workforce as the first fully digital generation in the office. We know too that trust is increasingly important to Gen Z, and they are more skeptical of “corporate speak” and want to deal with “humans” again.

We also know they truly embody the multi-channel consumer experience. While they have a massive amount of options to choose from, 58% read books weekly and 25% of them report reading magazines every week.

Image source: OntarioCreates.ca

“Their love of reading goes beyond books. Millennials and Gen Z both love to read magazines, too,” Caruso continues. “About two years ago, The New York Times noticed an uptick in smaller-run magazines—particularly food-focused publications that were founded by 20–30-year-olds. This was just the early part of a trend, and other boutique titles followed, all printed on a lower budget, produced by younger adults, and read by younger audiences.”

What does this mean for the future of print? For one, it means the either/or approach is simply out the window.

“Just as the customer journey has changed in the world of shopping, so too has the media consumption journey,” Caruso writes. “Millennials and Gen Z may be digital natives, but they’re also aware of the need to unplug and look up from their mobile screens. Therefore, just as retailers have learned to do, publishers should be prepared to engage them at every touchpoint in the online and offline worlds.”

“For now, meeting audiences on social media and engaging them with ‘snackable’ content is just as important as putting a jaw-droppingly gorgeous photo on the cover shoppers see at the corner store checkout,” he concludes. “Offering a print-plus-digital bundle is as important as a special Fall Fashion Issue or exclusive streaming content for subscribers only. The evolution of publishing continues, and the younger generations are molding the future. And the future, it seems, can be perfectly bound.”

As we look toward the future of print, we must look also to the habits of this important audience, and deliver content true to their multi-channel lives. Print remains firmly in the mix for this generation.

Why print is essential for the future of education

Source: The Two Sides Team November 12, 2019

A four-year project examining the results of 54 research studies with 170,000 people has concluded that print is vital for effective education.

The argument that reading on paper results in deeper comprehension and retention, concentration, vocabulary building and memory has been given immense weight by a groundbreaking study by Intergraf, the European federation for print and digital communication.

The research examined the results of 54 studies with a total of over 170,000 participants from 19 countries, and found overwhelming evidence that comprehension of text is much stronger when reading from paper as opposed to a screen, particularly when the reader is under time pressure.

Concerned by the effect of increased time spent reading from screens in schools, the international trade body has called upon policymakers and educational organizations at both national and European levels to ensure that print retains a significant role within education.

Better progress with print

Titled E-READ (Evolution of Reading in the Age of Digitisation), the Intergraf study is a thorough project. Taking place over four years, it involved a network of almost 200 academics from all over Europe carrying out empirical research and debates about the effects of digitization on reading, especially for students and young people.

“Students learning from digital devices only progressed one third as much as they would have done had they been reading on paper”

E-READ found that print readers have a better recall of the relationship between events and are able to reconstruct the plot of a text better than screen readers. It was also found that the advantage for print was greater under time constraints and that scrolling resulted in a significant disadvantage for digital reading.

With regard to education, the digital disadvantage during elementary school was found to be two-thirds of the yearly increase in reading comprehension, meaning that students potentially only progressed one-third as much as they would have done had they been reading on paper instead of on a screen.

Paper a technology of proven strengths

The fact that young people only learn one-third as well when reading from a digital device is clearly alarming, and so Intergraf have called for urgent action to be taken at all levels to “ensure that education in Europe is not degraded by the rapid and unsubstantiated introduction of screen reading in schools”.

The statement continues: “The development of students’ reading comprehension and critical thinking skills must be immediately safeguarded. A failure to act on the advice given in such studies creates an immediate risk that students’ learning outcomes will be negatively affected by the increasing tendency of schools in Europe to promote reading on digital devices without the necessary tools and strategies to ensure this does not cause a setback in reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. Products that are proven to facilitate comprehension and critical thinking, such as paper books and other printed informational texts, already exist and should not be overlooked. Paper is a technology of proven strengths.”

Urgent action required

The results of the Intergraf study and their recommendations entirely chimes with the work of Two Sides and the results of our recent study into people’s preference for print. The study, titled Busting The Myths, found that 68% of US consumers preferred to read books in print, with 65% preferring print for magazines and 53% for print newspapers.

There are many studies that show that reading in print improves the understanding of information, as well as memory and recall, which is essential for the education of people of all ages, but especially for young people. This Intergraf study is a vital piece of work that proves that print has great advantages over digital for learning. Let’s hope the governments and institutions are listening.

For more information about the Intergraf E-READ study, click here

Read more like this:

Is this the end of print textbooks?

Infographic – Why do so many people love print?

This is your brain on print.

What is electronic media doing to our health?

“Switching off” and turning to print is better for your health and it may also be the answer to a good night’s sleep.

From: Two Sides [ https://twosidesna.org/US/what-is-electronic-media-doing-to-our-health/ ]

The prevalence and use of electronics in all aspects of daily life is steadily increasing with the average U.S. adult spending 6.3 hours each day with digital media, over half of which is spent on their smartphones. The number is even higher, up to 9 hours per day, for teens.1, 2

According to a 2019 Two Sides sponsored study conducted by Toluna, there is mounting evidence that consumers are feeling digital overload and the long-term negative health effects of electronic overuse.3

In the U.S. and Canada, 53 and 52% of respondents, respectively, are concerned that the overuse of electronic devices could be damaging to their health. Similar numbers, 49% and 46% believe they spend too much time on electronic devices.  Finally, 31% of American respondents and 27% of Canadians feel they are suffering from “digital overload.”

Too much screen time can indeed affect your health. Digital eye strain (DES), also known as computer vision syndrome, includes symptoms such as headaches, double vision, blurred distance vision, irritated or burning eyes, dry eyes and tired eyes.  Estimates suggest 50% or more of computer users suffer from at least one of these symptoms while they are looking at a screen.A study that compared reading on a screen to reading on paper noted that after reading from a smartphone, eye strain symptoms were significantly worse than for the printed hardcopy.5  Scientists are wondering how much of the recent and alarming rise in myopia (nearsightedness or difficulty seeing distant objects clearly) is due to too much screen time. If current trends continue, 50% of the world’s population will be myopic by 2050.6

One thing researchers do agree on is the harmful effects of reading from screens on sleep.7  Several years ago, a National Sleep Foundation survey found that 90% of Americans reported using light-emitting devices within an hour of going to bed and greater use was associated with worse sleep outcomes at all ages. Users may sleep less, sleep patterns can be disrupted, and daytime sleepiness increased.8,9  And all those changes in sleep can have detrimental effects on our well-being and the nationwide impact to long-term brain health is potentially large.10

The light emitted from electronic devices is enough to disrupt sleep patterns, negatively impacting concentration and brain development. This is especially important for children where the quality of sleep is necessary for mental development.11

A recent study conducted by the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) shows supporting evidence that a greater-than-average screen time promotes a greater chance of developing attention problems. A correlation between excessive screen time and attention deficiencies is clear.12

Too much screen time has also been linked to increases in anxiety and depression, shortened attention spans and a variety of other negative effects on our well-being although evidence is often contradictory.

We evidently understand that too much screen time can be bad for us. There is also a clear preference among the Two Sides survey respondents to enjoy the “offline” world with 71% of Americans and 68% of Canadians believing in the importance of “switching off” and reading more in print.

Picking up a book, magazine or newspaper may be the ticket to relaxation and a good night’s sleep, not to mention getting immersed in your subject.  The preference for reading in print by a majority of consumers was reflected in the Toluna study which found that 68% of Americans and Canadians prefer reading a book in print (versus digital).  For magazines, the preference for print was 65% for the U.S. and 59% for Canada.

Detailed results of the Toluna survey can be found at https://twosidesna.org/survey

______________

Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trends report: All the slides and highlights. https://qz.com/1640910/mary-meekers-2019-internet-trends-report-highlights/
Teens spend an average of 9 hours a day with media. https://globalnews.ca/news/2314977/teens-spend-an-average-of-9-hours-a-day-with-media/
Toluna and Two Sides, 2019. https://twosidesna.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/2019/06/Two-Sides-Busting-the-Myths-Report-2019-USA-final-2.pdf
4 Sheppard, A. and Wolffsohn, J. 2018. BMJ Open Ophthalmology. https://bmjophth.bmj.com/content/3/1/e000146?utm_source=trendmd&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=alljjs&utm_content=americas&utm_term=1-B
5 Antona et al. 2018. Symptoms associated with reading from a smartphone in conditions of light and dark. Applied Ergonomics 68: 12-17 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0003687017302351
Long, E. 2018. Evolutionary medicine: Why does the prevalence of myopia significantly increase? Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, Volume 2018, Issue 1, 2018, Pages 151–152. https://academic.oup.com/emph/article/2018/1/151/5046312
7  Makin, S. 2018. Searching for digital technology’s effects on well-being. Nature. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07503-w
Hale, L and Guan, S. 2015. Screen time and sleep among school-aged children and adolescents: A systematic literature review. Sleep Medicine Reviews 21:50-58 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1087079214000811
Gradisar, M. et al. 2013. The sleep and technology use of Americans: findings from the National Sleep Foundation’s 2011 Sleep in America poll. J. Clin. Sleep Med. 9: 1291– 1299.
10 https://www.sleepybliss.com/tips-guides/how-electronics-affect-sleep/?msID=236f8bea-7048-42b1-aed9-4cb5c88bdb72
11 National Sleep Foundation. Electronics in the Bedroom: Why it’s Necessary to Turn Off Before You Tuck In – https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/electronics-bedroom-why-its-necessary-turn-you-tuck
12 MedicineNet.  Too Much Screen Time Can Threaten Attention Span. https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=117789

P&G Made an Inkjet Printer for Your Face

After a decade of R&D, its Opté beauty wand gives a targeted, diagnostic approach to putting makeup on your skin.

Source: Bloomberg

Inkjet printers aren’t often ­associated with luxury, beauty, and luminosity. But Opté, a handheld makeup printer for your face, promises to deliver exactly those things. With tiny cameras that take photos at 200 frames per second, Opté quickly scans for blemishes such as age spots and hyper­pigmentation, then covers them precisely as you run the device over your skin. It clicks ­quietly as it goes, shooting out pigment, to instantly camouflage for the day, and also a serum containing niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 designed to fade imperfections such as dark spots in 8 to 12 weeks.

“It’s about not looking fake,” says Becky Kaufman, a group head in R&D at P&G Ventures, a division of Procter & Gamble Co. in Cincinnati. The target consumer is anyone who wants the look of flawless skin without the appearance of wearing ­foundation—men or women who are looking to have the natural translucence of their skin show through.

Made of 350 components, the high-tech device took more than 25 patents to develop, at a company better known for affordable skin-care products such as Olay and Ivory soap. Not only did inkjet printer technology have to be miniaturized, but P&G Ventures solved a problem that had long stymied the ink industry: how to suspend the whitening agent titanium dioxide, which usually sinks to the bottom of a mixed fluid. It took a decade to overcome this hurdle, which finally got worked out in a partnership with Japan’s Funai Electric Co.

P&G’s three formulas for Opté, designed to cover light-, medium-, and dark-toned skins, are intended to work for about 98% of tones. If the 98% can afford it. The device will go on sale in 2020 for roughly $599. “It’s the most premium beauty product we’ve developed,” P&G Ventures spokeswoman Lauren Thaman says.

Bottleneck at Printers Has Derailed Some Holiday Book Sales

By Alexandra Alter

Dec. 23, 2018 || NEW YORK TIMES

This year has been, much to everyone’s surprise, a blockbuster for the publishing industry. Despite the relentless news cycle, readers have bought books in droves. Hardcover sales are up, and unit sales at independent bookstores have risen 5 percent. Multiple titles — Bob Woodward’s “Fear,” Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s “The President Is Missing” and Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” — have passed the million-copy mark, while there is also a surprisingly strong appetite for literary fiction.

But what should be good news for publishers, agents and authors has created headaches during the crucial holiday sales season, as printing presses struggle to keep up with a surge in demand, creating a backlog that has led to stock shortages of popular titles.

Several of this year’s most critically acclaimed novels, including Lisa Halliday’s “Asymmetry,” Richard Powers’s “The Overstory” and Rebecca Makkai’s “The Great Believers,” were listed as out of stock on Amazon the week before Christmas after inventory ran low because publishers could not to reprint copies quickly enough. Best-selling and critically lauded nonfiction titles like David W. Blight’s biography of Frederick Douglass, Samin Nosrat’s cookbook “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” and Ben Reiter’s “Astroball” were also unavailable on Amazon, with some titles showing shipping dates of two to four weeks from now.

The industrywide paper jam has been building for months — a result of shrinking and consolidation among printing companies, the collapse of one of the major printers this summer, global paper shortages and a tightening job market that’s made it difficult for printers to hire additional seasonal workers. But it has become increasingly acute and visible at the industry’s peak sales season, when consumers are shopping for must-read titles to give as gifts, and finding that Amazon’s virtual shelves are bare.

Video: Paper Making at Mohawk

Equal parts craft and engineering, see premium paper being made at Mohawk’s historic Waterford, New York mill.

Paper Making at Mohawk | Instructional from Mohawk on Vimeo.

Rolland EnviroPrint and BioGas Energy

biogas_bw_engIf you are considering “going greener,” reduce your environmental footprint with Rolland EnviroPrint papers. They are made with 100% Post Consumer Waste, and the manufacturing process is powered by Biogas Energy. 

Biogas comes from decomposing landfill waste that’s been captured to prevent its release into the air. It is transported by pipeline to Rolland and used as thermal energy to produce paper instead of using traditional combustible fuels. Not only is biogas a renewable energy, it reduces their CO2 emissions by 70,000 tons, or 23,400 compact cars, annually.

Learn more about Biogas Energy:

BOND is proud to offer the Rolland EnviroPrint line of papers.

The Dieline Awards 2018 Winners

The Dieline Awards recognizes the absolute best in consumer product packaging design around the globe, and brings awareness to the immense value that lies in well-designed brand packaging. The largest global packaging design competition is now in it’s 9th year.

Click here to see the winners!

Abstract: The Art of Design – A Netflix Original Not to be Missed

Abstract: The Art of Design is a Netflix original documentary series highlighting artists in the field of design. The series was created by former Wired editor-in-chief Scott Dadich. Step inside the minds of the most innovative designers in a variety of disciplines and learn how design impacts every aspect of life.

From Architecture to Typography, it will become one of your go-to series this year. Check out the show’s official page on Netflix to learn more or watch some trailers.

https://www.netflix.com/ca/title/80057883