drupa Essentials of Print: Hadar Peled Vaissman
With our recurring drupa Essentials of Print series, we deliver a series of articles, from designers, brand owners, printers, converters, journalists and influencers, providing them with a platform to share their opinions on the latest developments of the print industry.
The most exciting design tool ever
The development of digital print is reminiscent of the advent of the modern air-brush: suddenly there was a new technology for releasing ink onto paper. It was easy to learn and use and it quickly became popular. With this new tool a whole new art form started, taking photo-realism and photo-retouching to a completely new level. Digital printing can do just that, too, and be the new air-brush for the graphic-design community; an exciting new chapter that easily expands design capabilities.
As designers, customers have also changed, and so have their marketing and branding requirements. This affects what is required from us – basically it changes our own product. In the past, branding was based on consistency with the psychological rational being that familiarity will lead to brand recognition, brand preference, buying and loyalty. When my own generation, so-called generation X, walked into a supermarket and saw the myriad brand options on-shelf, our hands would somehow instinctively reach for the one which was familiar, which looked the same as it always had been, reminding us of home, of safety and of predictability.
Then the millennials came along, who were brought up to expect personal service. Safety or predictability was less of an issue, familiarity was nothing to them – on the contrary, it was ‘boring’. Millennials don’t see themselves as ‘part of a crowd’ – they prefer to be seen as ‘one of a kind’. They expect brand-owners to treat them as individuals and target their products specifically to themselves. Sustainability also became an issue and altogether, mass production and traditional advertising were not cutting it. As a response, marketing departments and advertising agencies started developing more targeted campaigns with ‘activation’ tactics to reach and appeal to these new consumers but still, overall, the personal touch was mostly missing. Millennials, who grew up with the internet, are certainly more used to sharing their personal data in exchange for content. They are happy to participate and click if this means the brand will acknowledge them personally. They expect the brands to use this data and get the product right.
Now comes generation Z, which is even more internet savvy in every possible way. To them the technology comes as naturally as the air they breathe, it’s taken for granted. According to a recent report on customer trust trends from Salesforce “although a slim majority of consumers are still wary of companies’ intentions when it comes to handing over personal data, Gen Z and millennials are more game to take that risk — as long as they are getting something in return”.
In her article “The most exciting design tool ever” from the drupa article series Essentials of Print Hadar Peled Vaissmann goes into detail about how designers, brand-owners and marketers can offer today’s customers the right product in today’s consumer market with the help of digital print.
About the Author:
Hadar Peled Vaissman is an independent international Art Director who helps brands to improve their communication mainly through customisation, personalisation and individualisation. She believes that these will elevate a company’s relevance in a digital world.
Header picture © Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann