Print manufacturers have appropriately adapted to meet the needs of distributors serving customers with complex, flashy marketing materials. However, global trends are pointing toward simplicity of design and absorbability. 

In other words, the easier it is for a consumer to perceive and translate the information on a graphic, the better chance a business has to deliver its message. Digital marketing has obligated print to create materials that are quickly interpreted as well as visually appealing. 

Complementing Web strategies 
Outreach Promotion Solutions released "An Introduction to Digital, Traditional and Interactive Marketing Trends for 2014," which recognized print marketing as a critical part of contemporary advertising strategies. Postcards, brochures, fliers, posters, catalogs and other materials can be leveraged by enterprises to give them a competitive edge over companies that neglect to exploit physical mailboxes.

However, sending aforementioned forms to consumers indiscriminately would be a mistake. The report acknowledged that a direct mailing strategy must have: 

  • An applicable, relevant design with content that's both informative and easy to understand
  • Contact information that's strategically placed so that consumers recognize it almost immediately
  • A way to analyze the results of the initiative, whether through data analytics or some other calculable means

Outreach Promotion solutions noted that postcards offer businesses the best way to grab a person's attention because an envelope doesn't have to be opened. If the materials are encased and can't be perceived, it's likely that individuals will simply throw the forms away the minute they categorize it as a marketing ploy. 

How it's presented 
The question is, what do companies put on their postcard? iStock recently surveyed people heavily involved in the global graphics industry, identifying several key design trends that are sure to literally change the face of printed marketing forms. 

  1. Complexity's out: Professionals have deduced that digital technology has surrounded people with intricate materials, obligating those in print to deliver simple, succinct visuals that aren't difficult to look at. 
  2. Keep it flat: For all the buzz surrounding 3-D video and skeumorphic pictures, Tim Busin, Creative Director for Sydney, Australia-based Reactive, surmised that "flatness" creates a more absorbable "rhythm." 
  3. Better parallax scrolling: Although 3-D print may be a little much, giving pictures some depth can be visually pleasing and catch a person's eye. 
  4. Deeper logos: The days of the simplified icon are fading out. Creating logos with more character and greater depth is a good strategy for businesses looking to differentiate themselves. 
  5. A different approach to creativity: iStock discovered that new images and graphics are likely to have schemes that express what it means to be human. The age of connectivity has made people more open, so it's important that print take the same approach. 

What it means for print manufacturing 
The effects the latest graphic trends will have on the print industry are going to be monumental. Distributors must source from producers that can adjust machines and factory processes to better fit emerging business marketing needs. 

One thing's for certain: Enterprise personnel are likely to become much more involved with print, favoring companies offering Web-to-print and custom services.