The Pendulum: A counter trend

Sendt av: Ulbe Jelluma 26/01/2017

A series of articles about the growing interest in the use of print media and paper.

At a recent conference in Germany, SVP Communication & Sales Marketing Deutsche Telekom mentioned that “digitalisation is both a Curse and a Blessing”. His remark coincided with what was described as a counter trend. As the digital “sensation-oriented culture” will have a counterpart in the “full-attentive culture” of print.

Matthias Horx (Foto: Christian Handler)

The W&V Future Print Summit, organised with the support of Print Power Germany, featured some thought provoking presentations. Like the tension between the increasing amount of digital news and the role of printed newspapers and magazines. Matthias Horx, a futurist, mentioned “that every trend will cause a countertrend and at the end we will all return to paper”. His view is that the “Internet has come to a Tipping Point and print is contributing to that evolution”. 

Bonprix, a brick-and-mortar and online retailer, is a strong believer of the catalogue, as Lars Gerber (Brand & advertising manager) confirmed. Bonprix's personalised brochures and catalogues open new ways to create customer loyalty. The advantage of the catalogues is that “print structures and organises content”, which explains it’s effectiveness.

The conference underlined a change in perception about the role of print media; no longer talking about the decline, but a realistic view of the media world in constant change in which print will continue to play a role. For more information about the presentations at the Future Print Summit click here.

Using the title " Why paper is the real killer app", BBC wrote a very intersting article about the role of print and paper. These are the highlights from that article. Consumers increasingly understand the role print media or using a pen and paper can play for them. Reading a magazine or using pen and paper is like an escape from the “always-on” digital media. And there is quite some scientific back-up for the positive effects of returning to print.  The research points at the overload of information; feeling addicted to our devices; the difficulty of multi-tasking and also the relationship between taking notes and understanding and remembering what is written down. 

A quote from the article shows how a digital native uses pen and paper. “Sometimes, I just want to get rid of all the technology and sit down in a quiet space with a pen and paper,” she says. “There are so many apps out there and I feel like no one app gives me everything that I need. I've tried and really given them a go, doing those to-do lists of having your priorities or brain storming using lots of different apps … [but] when I get a pen and paper, or when I'm using my old-fashioned diary and pen, it just feels more flexible to me. I can always pull it out. I can focus.”

One of the exponents of this renewed interest using a pen and paper is the Bullet Journal, a traditional agenda-like booklet which you use for writing down appointments, ideas and thoughts. The Bullet Journal is often referred to as the analogue system for the digital world. And writing things down sparks innovation and stimulates other parts in the brain.