When marketing, you give ink a soul. As the printer, we must help you bring soul to your printed piece through design. Just as when you learn the recipe of writing, you can write anything. If you learn the technique to print and marketing, you can print what is written, but can you give the printed piece soul?
What is the soul of a printed piece? It is the intellectual energy that is revealed, it is the feeling, thought, and call to a required action. What you must shoot for is to help people fall in love with your printed piece. That means pushing to give the finished product and design a soul.
The soul of a product is the goal it was designed to achieve. It is emotionally connecting and creating a printed piece that stands out in someone’s mind and heart. It becomes what people reach for. People may not understand what or how you have done it, but they perceive that it’s better.
When wanting to create a printed piece with soul, you need to stay focused on what the purpose of the piece is and not lose sight of the users and therefore lose sight of the target. Emotionally arousing design tends to be remembered better than a neutral piece. Emotionally charged pieces are remembered longer and are recalled with greater accuracy than a neutral printed piece. We are wired to remember products and brands with a soul. Let’s use that to our advantage.
Some think design is the soul of the printed piece and end up trying to solve too many issues with one piece, taking on too many goals. This scattered “emphasis” dilutes the essence of the product and weakens its soul. To give “ink” a soul, is to know what it needs and understand its relationship with the paper. In a sense, this relationship is the same as a potter with clay or an architect with wood and steel. Once you understand the nature of your materials, you know what it can become and what its limits are.
Don’t forget the “Fiddle Factor.”
The term “fiddle factor’ was used by Jony Ive, once considered “The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products.” Ive had a new take on, of all things, a pen. Noticing people tend to fiddle with their pens when not writing, he added something to his pen design to give people something to play with when they were idle. His once-boss, Clive Grinyer said; “This was a new idea back then, to put something on a pen that was purely there to fiddle with. He was really thinking differently. The pen’s design was not just about shape, but also there was an emotional side to it.”
How do you put a “fiddle factor” into a printed piece? First, think differently; TOUCH, the things we touch mean more to us. We become attached to them. We understand them more deeply, rely on them, gravitate towards them. Print excites the senses in a way that no other medium can replicate. It gives ink a soul. When using touch to connect, print is the materials you use. Print is not dead, it’s alive and well. It all comes down to knowing how to create content across all platforms. People find paper fascinating because they know the material well, so it’s almost like magic seeing it transformed into something with soul. SCENTED INK, the sense of smell (scent) is a powerful, emotional trigger. Scented inks are designed to provide a unique opportunity to grab attention and differentiate your brand, product or service. QR CODES, that link to music, video, articles that create a deeper connection with your product or service. Use it to create something your target market can wrap around their heart and makes them want more.
What matters is what your printed piece is supposed to do. Ask: Do all the features support your customers’ goals? Or are the extra features diluting the goals of the piece? Dilutive features may be “pet projects”, or loud-customer-requests, or cowboy-capabilities (someone who added a feature because they thought it would be cool.)
Remember, design is important, but the soul of your printed piece is its GOAL. As a physical medium, print with a soul can excite all the senses. Invite touch, smell, sight, and hearing into your printed piece and produce a groundbreaking, heart bounding, soulful printed product.