We live in an increasingly digital-focused world, but you shouldn’t underestimate the power of print.

We are constantly barraged by emails, overwhelmed by digital adverts, and given web-based experiences. Yet a well-executed print piece has more influence than ever before.

Keeping up-to-date with the latest trends in the print world is what we do. So here are a few trends I feel will be big in print this year.

It’s vital to recycle.

With an increased awareness of environmental issues, there is an increasing demand for recycled and more sustainable print stocks. The common perception of recycled stocks is that they are muted and lack lustre, but that just isn’t the case. There is a wide range of high-quality papers on offer from a variety of paper merchants that are bright, luxurious and tactile. You can even find some made from recycled coffee cups and there is also such a thing as seeded paper. This sustainable way of thinking is bringing new and exciting papers to the industry and helping our planet all at the same time. So, when you’re next thinking about your stock choice, why not consider something recycled?

Tactile textures.

Receiving a piece of print is not all about the visual, but the way it feels too. If a stock feels luxurious you’ll associate the message or brand with luxury. If a stock feels natural, you’ll associate the message or brand with nature. The power of touch and texture is a great way to reinforce any marketing message. Texture can also set you apart from the standard print pieces. You can achieve this by carefully selecting the stock or finishes. You can have smooth, embossed, ridged, and rough stocks. You can have flock or soft-touch laminate finishes. The world is your oyster. Print doesn’t have to be boring – make it tactile!

Think white ink.

Opaque white ink on coloured stock is a match made in heaven. It opens up the  door for use on those rich dark stocks, that previously only foiling could be used on. This creates an eye-catching and legible finish to give your print that striking, pick-up appeal. It can now be used in digital print and there’s also an opportunity to use it underneath other inks to make them pop. For example, a neon orange with a white ink underneath really shines and prevents the neon colour from being saturated and looking muted on the paper. Think white ink to make an impact.

Make it personal.

Create engagement with print that speaks to on a personal level. Adding a name or a bespoke message can easily be done through digital printing and start a one-on-one conversation with the recipient.

Another way to personalise print is by using different coloured stocks and finishes, making each print piece bespoke. It means each one landing on someone’s desk will be unique, creating a real talking point.

Unconventional formats.

Gone are the days of the standard A4 and A5. We are so used to seeing traditional DL leaflets, A6 postcards – they have their place, but why not break out from the mould and try an unconventional format? Not only will it have desk presence but it will stand out from any other publication your audience will receive. Go big, go small, go long, go short. If you want to make an impact think about your format and think outside the norm.

Bright idea: neon

Make it pop! Add an injection of colour and standout with neon and fluorescent inks, creating real energy to your print piece. You don’t have to go for a complete rave: using just one neon colour is enough to leave an impression. You can even replace one of the CMYK inks with a neon to give a real zing to print.

Into the third dimension.

Augmented reality (AR) can be used with smartphones. It can make any piece of print, interactive. Recipients can use the camera to overlay a picture of digital content, bringing print to life. You can use a QR code reader to take you to a relevant site or download an AR app. This gives the user the functionality to have elements jump right off the page in front of them.

Fond of foil.

Foiling has always been present in print, adding a touch of class and elegance to any piece. If you want a premium finish, it’s a must.  Whether its matt, or glossy, metallic or neon, there is a huge range of foils available.

There is more to print than you think. With constant innovation it’s exciting to see what the next development will be. Having great relationships with printers and paper merchants allows us to keep ahead of the curve. We understand how we can harness these developments to produce exceptional print pieces that create real impact.