Between the sheets: digital printing for a digital world


More and more businesses and brands are embracing digital printing as an efficient and cost-effective way to reach their audience. This article, sponsored by Neenah Paper, offers tips, best practices and new ideas for using digital printing for direct marketing, and examines the latest additions to Neenah’s popular Explore series which uses sample prints designed creatively to help designers and printers get the most out of digital printing technology.

By Neenah Paper

It’s no secret that the world is getting faster every day. Advances in technology are primarily responsible for creating an on-demand society where people are spending more and more screen time trying to keep up. In recent years, companies have invested heavily in online advertising and marketing campaigns as a key means of reaching consumers.

However, consumers might be looking for ways to disconnect from technology and ground themselves in a different reality. With unprecedented numbers of people working from home, days are now filled with virtual meetings, online teaching, online fitness, well, everything online. As a result, consumers are experiencing an unforeseen phenomenon known as screen fatigue. For brands, now is the time to pivot, or revert, to a more versatile omnichannel marketing strategy.

Change to Innovative Strategies

Integrating and coordinating print and digital marketing strategies allows brands to reach audiences across both channels. Using direct mail and email campaigns at the same time has been proven to improve performance and reduce the cost per acquisition of new customers. And during this period of working from home, there is no point in sending direct mail into the void of empty offices. Use email or social media to encourage the public to update their contact information so they can be reached in multiple places.

A recent study by the MIT Sloan Management Review “identified new patterns in consumer purchasing behavior and mindset.” Their findings show that there is a real opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to leverage omnichannel communication strategies to acquire new customers. Since small businesses are nimble and can make adjustments faster than larger businesses, they can experiment with marketing strategies to retain and reach the audience. It is essential to use all the tools in the marketing toolkit to achieve this goal in the most effective and least expensive way. Competing for attention online requires innovative and advanced offline connections.

Old World Marketing with New Age Technology

The offline solution is not in something new, but in a state-of-the-art version of a proven marketing tool. Businesses have depended on print marketing since the 1400s, when the first press allowed large quantities of printed books and flyers to reach the masses. Compared to the time, that has changed everything. In the 1990s, when digital printing first appeared, it was mainly used for mass mailings. The print quality was low, but the yield and timeliness were huge. It has also changed everything, especially with the ability to introduce more personalization and personalization into marketing communications than was possible before.

Today, advanced digital printing technology is responsible for a new revolution in the printing industry. It is fast, flexible and versatile. Imagine high-fidelity four-color images on colored papers, metallic inks on textured surfaces with targeted personalization, and it only scratches the surface. A growing number of certified substrates from various paper mills use digital toner and inkjet printing in popular colors, textures and weights. This expands marketers’ choices in creating high-impact, profitable campaigns for their businesses or brands.

Because digital printing uses digital files instead of printing plates, producing high quality results with minimal setup costs is the new normal. Digital files also allow customization of individual graphics or text, print by print, making them the perfect choice for personalized marketing materials such as direct mail. It is perfect for small business marketing requiring small print runs or start-ups looking for initial quantities of print media such as labels, in-store signs, brochures, business cards, stationery. header, etc

More and more businesses and brands are embracing digital print as an efficient and cost-effective way to reach their audience, and why not? Scott Gasch of Fey Printing says, “Digital printing allows us to be more flexible and take some common guesswork out of print production. Consider the time and cost savings that come with being able to cost-effectively run spot comps or print proofs. With digital printing, we can make immediate changes and continue proofing throughout the printing process. Our customers are happy that the end result is amazing, but didn’t break the bank or cause production delays. »

Explore design for digital printing

Beyond the obvious business benefits of producing short-term print projects, digital printing also allows designers to be more creative and take more risks. Ellie McKenzie of Farmhouse Design advises: “You can design by trial and error since your commitment isn’t as great. Changes can be made throughout the process.

Ask your printer to print on different papers with different inks. Don’t underestimate your printer’s creativity. They’re the experts, and chances are they’ve seen and done just about everything. Before you start designing, ask what’s new in digital printing and how you can leverage technology, inks and substrates to create even more stunning and effective parts.

One such example of ultra-creative design for digital printing can be found in Explore 7, an inspiring sample kit from Neenah designed by Farmhouse Design and produced by Fey Printing. Commenting on the article, Gasch remarks, “This promotional print contained several different designs and allowed us to utilize the full capabilities of our HP Indigo® 7900. This was our first opportunity to use the new HP Indigo ElectroInk Silver . We used it on both the outside and inside cover, and it exceeded our expectations.

“The samples in this piece will have you rethinking everything you know about digital printing. We produced holographic foils, handwritten variable data, and an authentic looking brass rivet on all combinations of Neenah’s colored and textured digital papers. Everything Ellie could imagine, we made it happen using digital printing technology with advanced inks and substrates.”

Yogev Barak, Head of Strategy and Business Development for HP Indigo, said of the Explore project, “Neenah has once again produced an important tool that will advance HP Indigo customers’ abilities to grow their business. Explore 7 provides a tactile and inspiring resource. to showcase HP Indigo’s capabilities to support the wave of business reopening and respond to the call of this new emerging market. Neenah’s beautiful, durable papers combined with unique HP Indigo technology and inks enable growth in packaging, display, direct mail and everything needed to get a business back up and running to meet the new normal »,

The latest in Neenah’s popular Explore series uses creatively designed print samples to educate designers on the retail vertical and inspire ideas for working in this digital print niche market. With a little creative know-how, the pieces featured in the promotion can be used or adapted for any business or vertical. Neenah even provides designers with the cut lines for each sample created from the promotion.

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