In the past several years, many businesses have started to become a bit more commonly engaged in print-related pursuits, whether that be for marketing, sales content distribution or the like. Although the main conversation has regarded the perceived battle between print and digital, the real revolutionary and successful minds have been more focused on the establishment of intertwined strategies that use each environment to the best advantage of the company.
Digital formatting and design can actually be leveraged to get more out of print, while physical publications can help spread the word regarding online efforts and strengths as well. Taking this a step further, one of the best ways to get the most out of marketing budgets, sales strategies and the like is to ensure that the firm is playing to the strengths of its chosen assets, rather than trying to fit round pegs into square holes.
Digital style and design sheets can help to standardize certain types of print publications, allowing the business to more efficiently and effectively create physical documents that begin with online forms and programs. The end result will tend to be a more preferable workflow when new documents need to go to the printer, as well as more flexible processes to align digital and physical forms with objectives and corporate values.
The question of CSS
Smashing Magazine recently explained some of the ways in which cascading style sheets, more commonly referred to as CSS, can be leveraged in a more specialized fashion to make print a more efficient process. As a note, the source did point out that one cannot simply take CSS that is used specifically for Web-based procedures and just tack it onto a print project, as the designer instead needs to go through a shift of sorts to translate it to physical publications.
"The biggest difference, and conceptual shift, is that printed documents refer to a page model that is of a fixed size," author Rachel Andrew explained. "Whereas on the Web we are constantly reminded that we have no idea of the size of the viewport, in print the fixed size of each page has a bearing on everything that we do. Due to this fixed page size, we have to consider our document as a collection of pages, paged media, rather than the continuous media that is a web page."
In many ways, this means that designers and managers who are overseeing these projects will need to ensure that they are not trying to leverage Web-based CSS for print publications without going through a string of adjustments to formatting, settings and other matters within the modules first. After all, online documents will simply be a bit more flexible with respect to layout, word count and other specifications, meaning that print versions will need to be tackled through a more specialized methodology.
Smashing Magazine went on to explain that while CSS can be used exceptionally well to complete book-related projects, the merits of leveraging this strategy are a bit more vast when looking at flyers, brochures and other documents that are popularly distributed by businesses.
As such, those companies that are interested in maintaining a print-related publication strategy should consider this type of Web-enabled project management to increase the cohesion of marketing, sales and other programs across platforms.
Businesses might not have the resources or expertise in house to get these types of projects done or fluidly move through the creation and use of Web-based design templates for print publications. This certainly does not mean that the company needs to shy away from these types of opportunities, as a wealth of print providers can take care of these matters externally while simultaneously ensuring that the client's approach is aligned with best practices.
Considering the fact that the company will rely upon strong design and expert publication of print items to make a good impression with the current and prospective customers who will be receiving the items, it is always best to understand staff members' limits and seek out assistance when necessary. By partnering with a proven provider of print products and support, businesses can take their marketing, sales and other content releases to the next level of performance.