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.
Haptically speaking, there’s a lot to be said for writing marketing messages for print. For starters, they have a better chance of being read when printed on paper and remembered than those viewed on a screen. (More on this later.)
If you’re not familiar with haptics, it’s the neuroscience of touch. What we know about haptics is based on extensive research that has produced fascinating findings.
You may wonder why, in today’s digital world, marketing communicators should care about haptics. As it turns out, there are plenty of reasons starting with this: According to neuroscientist/haptics hotshot Dr. David Eagleman, “Human touch represents a powerful form of non-verbal communication.”
If this sounds interesting, I highly recommend “A Communicator’s Guide to the Neuroscience of Touch.” It’s a joint project of Dr. Eagleman and the paper people at Sappi. Some highlights from the book to pique your interest, followed up with some quick thought from me:
„• More than half the brain is devoted to processing sensory experience, and much of that sensory receptivity focuses on touch. (PF: Hmmm. So, my words on paper are likely to get extra attention from my reader’s brain. Good to know.)
„• When you touch something, it triggers a reaction. You feel differently about what you touch. You begin to feel you own it. And research shows this makes you value it more. (PF: Soooo, this is why I can’t throw away greeting cards, catalogs and direct mail pieces I’ve held onto for 10 or 15 years.)
„• Rough. Smooth. Heavy. Light. Hard. Soft. What you touch shapes what you feel, and this influences perceptions —consciously and subconsciously — related to what you read. (PF: Savvy paper companies, printers and designers who understand print are capitalizing on this.)
Here’s where it gets really interesting for those of us who write for both digital and print. According to Ferris Jabr, whose article “Why The Brain Prefers Paper” appeared in Scientific American, “People understand and remember what they read on paper better than what they read on screen. Researchers think the physicality of paper explains the discrepancy.”
Hmm. Maybe this is why when I read something important on screen, I print it. Then reread and digest it later.
Studies show people read best on paper for three reasons.
According to the guide:
“The main job of communicators is to identify what is unique, and good, about a brand and create a program that reveals it clearly. A communicator’s tools are words and ideas, expressed through typefaces, colors, and form, delivered on a medium that further shapes the content it carries.”
With so many types of media vying for brand dollars, it’s reasonable for communicators to look to science to help weigh the alternatives.
Closing thought. If you think direct mail and other printed messages are too old-school for emerging markets such as Gen Zers, think again. According to Angie Read, blogger and co-author of the new “Marketing to Gen Z,” “Gen Zers love getting things in the mail with their name on them. Since they’re so used to digital media, they view print as NON-traditional marketing.” What goes around comes around.
Full disclosure: Ink-on-paper is in my DNA. I’m the daughter of a postmaster and I began my career as a catalog and direct mail writer. That said, I fully appreciate the immediacy, brevity and linkability of my words delivered digitally in blogs, tweets and SEO content. But learning about haptics has reinforced why I continue to enjoy writing — and reading — words on paper.
From: Target Marketing, Feb 23, 2018
We need to look at a lot of the myths and feelings we have around printing sustainability and harvesting trees that we carry with us from the past. What does the term ‘tree friendly’ imply? Does it mean that it is somehow environmentally responsible – or better for our planet? Here’s a rundown of the current ‘green’ alternatives out there in the industry.
Sugar Cane Paper
On the surface, it seems like an amazing environmental choice – it is manufactured from the reside waste of sugar cane.
However, we don’t know a lot about the environmental regulations in many of the countries where it is manufactured – especially concerning treatment of waste or by-products of the manufacturing process. In addition, many regions of the world where sugarcane is grown and processed still use oil and coal as energy sources. It would likely be safe to assume that the conversion and manufacturing process itself is very energy intensive. What are the ramifications of this combination?
An often neglected and hidden factor in the product choices we make is transportation and shipping. Freighters burn cheap bunker oil; it is only now that that the damaging effects of the shipping and transportation industries have come to the forefront. How does shipping impact the environmental footprint of these papers that come from the tropics?
Cocoon and Rolland EnviroPrint | 100% Post-Consumer Waste Papers
Cocoon is a new brand of coated papers made from 100% post-consumer waste. We do need to keep in mind, however, that this paper is manufactured in Europe. While we can assume very high standards and regulations, transport must also be considered.
The Rolland manufacturing plant is in Quebec. Rolland gets 90% of its mill’s energy needs from biogas — transported in a dedicated, 8 mile pipeline from a nearby landfill. Because it uses biogas and processes chlorine-free, it is a top choice all the 100% PCW papers available.
Another option often marketed as ‘green’ is Stone Paper. We can often favor it over synthetic stocks because it is manufactured from calcium carbonate. It is, however, bonded with high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The HDPE content is generally around 20%, so every 100 lbs. of this paper contains 20 lbs. of plastic. It’s ‘tree friendly,’ but not environmentally friendly at all.
The best choice might just be FSC certified paper (with varying levels of recycled post-consumer waste). In North America, we no longer ‘harvest’ trees, we ‘farm’ them; the forests are valued as renewable resources.
North American paper manufactures (with the FSC) are maintaining our forests in sustainable ways. This is not just optics. Without a truly renewable way of moving forward, the industry realized it would not survive. Pulp and Paper manufacturers are constantly audited by the FSC and manufacturing processes are review to regulatory bodies and laws. In addition, the energy sources to manufacture pulp and paper are generally much cleaner in North America.
The fact that we are at the point where we think about making green and better choices is a positive and optimistic step. We must, however, make sure that we weigh all the options and think critically about each of the choices we make to ensure they are well thought out and not made on a purely emotional basis.
By choosing Rainforest Alliance Certified™ hotels and tour operators in Latin America and the Caribbean, you’ll be visiting destinations that are not only fun and beautiful, but also benefit local communities, ecosystems and wildlife.
The North American pulp and paper industry has made great progress in reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions over the last decade and at the same time have increased their use of certified fiber and support for sustainable forest management.
Cormac Reynolds || socialmediaweek.org
Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas and insights into social media and technology’s impact on business, society, and culture.
Email has long since been considered as a marketing medium that provides maximum reach for minimal investment and has served as an essential element of many a marketing campaign across any and all industries.
However Direct mail, whilst having been subject to somewhat of a falling out of favor over the past few years is beginning to see a resurgence, and is proving to be particularly popular for those who are harnessing this medium in new and re-thought ways.
These two mediums are widely different. Offering contrasting benefits and being suited to sometimes completely different audiences, industries or particular campaigns. So the question then is how you choose between them for your marketing needs, and, when all’s said and done, who comes out as king of the marketing mediums: Direct mail or Email?
Understanding the pros and cons of each marketing medium
Email is cheap, fast and efficient
Email is seriously cheap and although you should spend time in carefully crafting your copy (and feature it within a sales focused email design) it still makes for a great form of marketing with one of the best ROIs out there.
Email is marvelous for data analysis
Not only can your message be delivered immediately, you also benefit from results that are fully analyzable through email campaign management software (perfect for honing future campaigns). Data feedback can include bounce, open and click through rates, to name but a few.
Spamming is making it harder for everyone
Unfortunately the email marketing landscape has been made pretty bleak in recent years owing to a tidal wave of spam that consumers are, quite simply, sick of. This makes it more difficult for the email marketer as they do battle with inbox authenticity and receivers who are increasingly short on time.
Building a solid email list takes time
Gone are the days of buying cheap contact lists and expecting the world. Today you must build email lists through incentives, pre-approved permission and direct sign ups. Today such tasks take time and effort.
Email is pretty limiting
Email features plenty of limitations upon the creativity and despite advances this remains a medium that can generally only deliver moderately good looking materials.
Direct Mail: Pros
Direct mail is more flexible than ever before
From including printed QR codes which can take your future shopper direct to your website with a scan of a smartphone, through to printing on irresistible discounts on postcards, direct mail really is more flexible than ever before.
Direct mail is seeing impressive modern interaction
Research has found that direct mail is no longer the dull junk mail marketing medium of old and today clever marketers are successfully harnessing this method for encouraging social media activity, downloads, online purchases and audience/business rapport.
Direct mail can provide all the space that you need
In comparison to email direct marketing provides all the space that you need to tell your story, whatever it may be.
Direct mail provides the platform to convey and encourage emotion
Email users are in a rush. They may be checking their emails whilst commuting, or squeezing it in at lunch or before dinner. They don’t have time for emotions. However direct mail can provide readers with both space and time to read the materials in their own time and so you’re far freer with what can be expressed.
Inka Mathew, a Texas-based graphic designer and owner of Green Ink Studio, matches tiny, everyday objects from ladybugs to jelly beans with their corresponding Pantone colour swatches.
In a personal project called Tiny PMS Match, Mathew combines everyday items with their Pantone Matching System (PMS). The objects she uses “pique her interest and/or have special meaning.”
To see the effect of combining direct mail with digital advertising, Canada Post and Ipsos conducted a neuromarketing study that measured emotional response, for results that provided more predictive insights.
Overall, the study showed that integrated campaigns drove more attention, higher brand recall, and a stronger emotional response than digital campaigns alone.
Source: Canada Post/Ipsos Connecting for Action, September 2016
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