Why our brain prefers print over digital media

fmri scanner print over digital media

What’s more real, virtual or print material?

This may seem an odd question but answering it holds key information about today’s consumers to marketers and companies.

A study by Millard Brown in collaboration with the Centre for Experimental Consumer Psychology at Bangor University shows that the brain has a greater emotional process as a response to physical material compared with virtual experiences.

In the research, 20 participants were shown ads and other images in print and digital forms. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imagery (fMRI) was used to scan their brain activity and see the kind of reactions they presented to the various stimuli.

The results showed that material shown on printed cards generated more brain activity in the area associated with the integration of visual and spatial information, each located in a different hemisphere. It turns out physical material is more real for the brain, since it provides with a more complete experience. It also has more connections with internal feelings, which suggests a greater internalization of the printed message. This is why direct mail, brochures, flyers and coupons are still used in advertising.

So does this mean we should switch back to print media and forget about digital media? Of course not. Each industry has different purchasing processes and consumer behavior. You should determine when and where to market your products and services via conventional media.


Source: Millard Brown

Top 5 countries to print outside the US

Offset printing

Globalized communications and access to international markets have set a new scenario for printing industries all over the world. With rich countries (i.e., United States, the European Union, Japan) no longer control the world economy and little profit margin, emerging economies are the focus of attention for American companies looking for print providers.

Where are these opportunities located? In these following five countries:


Chinese printing companies have a large influence over the Government, usually with the same company owners acting as Government officials. Tariff reduction for U.S. imports into China since the country has become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and regulations to have the latest equipment help print companies improve their quality to comply with international market needs.


The Indian printing industry grows at higher rates than the rest of the economy and its growth is believed to be directly relational to GDP growth. Tariff reductions and regional trade agreements have also increased competitiveness along with print quality in order to meet international standards. Indian companies are relieved of importing tariffs for equipment if they show an increase in their exporting volume, so the printing industry focused on foreign customers has state-of-the-art equipment the domestic focused industry can’t afford to be penalized for. India, however, is at a disadvantage with China, where the Government has financial interest in most of the large printing companies so the risk is considerably higher for the private owned Indian ones. Other disadvantages include higher import tariffs on foreign manufactured equipment, comparative labor and capital costs, and shorter Chinese shipping times to the US West Coast.


The Russian printing industry provides products and services to newspaper, magazine, and graphic media printing. Digital printing is growing fast. Its demand was driven by printers who had bought equipment to become the leaders in a new field. This is a characteristic of Russian business, not only the printing industry. In Russia it is difficult to get financing for many printing medium and small-sized companies, as well as high tax rates and excessive certification procedures for imported equipment. The long distance between Russia and the US is also an issue.


Mexico is one of the world’s most open economies, is a member of the WTO and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and has free trade agreements with Canada, the European Union and many other countries. Many domestic Mexican printing companies have 20 year old equipment, and firms with modern equipment sometimes lacked the training needed to exploit possible opportunities. The creation of new degree programs in Engineering in Graphic Arts has covered this lack of trained personnel, and the Mexican printing industry has seen consolidation, increasing competition, and taking advantage of its strategic location with low shipping times to North American, Latin American, European and Asian markets.


This South American country has a leading role in the WTO and MERCOSUR, a customs union that includes Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela and Bolivia. Sixty percent of the printing industry is located in the wealthier regions of the South and Southeast, in cities such as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Menaus. As the poorer regions become wealthier, local printing industries will grow to serve local and regional markets, which may open a window for digital printing systems.


Source: Emerging Global Print Markets: A Five-Country Comparative Study

5 tips to save money with business printing companies

Books printed in bulk

Paper can represent up to 30 percent of the total cost of a business printing project. Whether your organization needs to print books, catalogs, magazines or any other kind of print material, if you can find ways to save on high-volume printing, you are going to be a hero at your company. Here are 5 ways to save on industrial printing.

  1. Go for paper qualities instead of brands. Specify the quality of the paper you need instead of the brand name. Printing companies usually negotiate with paper suppliers to get a special discount on the kind of paper their customers order more. Since they order in bulk, costs go down for them, as does and your purchasing price. If you order a specific paper brand, you print provider will not be able to give you a discount.
  2. Reduce the number of pages in your publications. If you print books or catalogs, make the most out of the unit cost by including only the valuable content you need to showcase. A couple of words can shorten a sentence, which can shorten a paragraph that will in turn reduce a page. Multiply that one page times the number of print issues and it becomes key for your saving money efforts.
  3. Change the page size and paper weight. There are new lighter papers below 50 lb. stock with higher opacity. Also, if you choose a standard paper size, trimming costs are reduced.
  4. Look for other printing options. Shipping costs allow you to seek for print providers in a wider range and more competitive rates. Make the most out of globalization.
  5. Include advertising in your publications. This may not apply if your print material is published inside your company, but think about it: media insertions by relevant advertisers in your books or magazines.

Sources: Printined Industry Exchange |  Smart Catalog