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print for luxury brands

I (occasionally) write for print.

Print is ideal for luxury brands.

Digital offers quick turnaround and ease of adding or revising content. But the tactile quality of print makes it well-suited to luxury brands that need to convey taste, authority, and premium quality. A carefully produced print piece mirrors the attributes of craftsmanship and individuality that define luxury. 

Compared to digital, print is expensive, difficult to distribute, hard to track, and unforgiving of errors. Print writers learn to be finicky because once a brochure goes on press, a missing comma is almost impossible to correct. On the plus side, a beautifully done print piece has a long shelf life, supports the idea of brand quality and value, and provides a richer experience than digital. The distribution of printed pieces can be tightly controlled. Digital is far more democratic.

The medium is the message.

- Marshall McLuhan in 1964
If you haven't heard of Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), please go soak your head in vinegar for 15 minutes. He predicted the Internet 30 years before it came into being. He spent a lifetime defining how the medium of communication shapes how we process and understand content. In fact, he was the first to separate the concepts of "content" and "medium.

The brain handles print differently.

Back in 2013, an article in Scientific American explored how  technology changes the way we read. Science suggests that digital screens are less tactile than printed works and prevent people from navigating long text in an intuitive way. 

Screens drain more mental resources and make it more difficult to remember what was read. The brain processes letters as physical objects so the more physical and less "electronic" those letters are, the easier it is for the brain to arrive at an understanding of meaning (content). Many digital natives prefer to read a book in print form despite the convenience of having unlimited content on a tablet.

Although newspapers have given way to online news, printed catalogs are still going strong. They provide a more immersive, detailed experience. Consumers peruse catalogs in depth before going online to make the purchase. Higher resolution imagery also fits in well with luxury brands. 

However, it's not really a matter of "digital or print" but "digital and print." Every channel has its part to play in a marketing mix.

Do you sell a luxury product?

Let's discuss whether print could work for you.

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