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Print vs Digital: How to design mixed media marketing campaigns

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Print vs digital design has become the hot topic of conversation but should we refocus and make it about print and digital design in unison? – We think so, mixed media marketing campaigns are the future of modern marketing.

Marketing is one of those industries that is always evolving – first there was newspaper print so you used mail drops or ROP (run of paper) adverts. Then the internet came along and maybe you added a website, included some links, sent an email newsletter. Now we have social media, mobile friendly websites, search engine rankings and of course Google Adwords.

The basics of mixed media marketing campaigns

While it might seem obvious, there are a few subtle differences between print and digital that mean each has its own strengths and weaknesses. For starters, prints versatility means it’s campaigns can be designed for a canvas, a newspaper or a leaflet. The piece can use the whole of the canvas and can combine a host of different elements such as graphs, charts, maps, pictures and varied layouts. Print can be as complex as required because there is no concern about bandwidth issues and load times.

Website or social media adverts are more about scrolling than the two-dimensional nature of print media. The idea is to catch the reader’s attention in those first few seconds with a headline, then to encourage them to scroll down to read more. There are various other elements that can be used to attract the reader’s attention, such as video and imagery, however, again there is the concern about how much these elements slow down the loading speed of the page and make for a poor customer experience.

To summarise – print is about letting the eyes wander around, using spatial juxtaposition to create a pleasant visual environment and engage the reader that way. Online is about prompting the hand to move the screen with a mouse to find more information having been engaged by the initial area viewed.

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