Print Media

What is so special about the printed media?

Imagine that you are sitting with a book in your hand. You feel the book’s weight. You enjoy the smell of it. You know how it looks. You recognize the font and size. You turn page after page when your eyes have reached the last word in the last sentence. You can see and feel how far you are. You may remember a particularly good section and the place of that section in the book. Perhaps you have a bookmark just there so you can always return. You might have underlined a good quote or written a note in the margin. You might be waiting to grab the book for a long time: being on the waiting list at the library, waiting for the next book from your favourite author or the next issue of your favourite magazine. When you are done reading, you close the book and put it on the shelf next to the books previously read. And you have a special relationship with.


Now, imagine yourself sitting with a tablet in your hands and reading an e-book or an online magazine. How does it feel?

Maybe not as good. Not if you believe several studies showing that people prefer to read in a printed media rather than an e-book. This is despite earlier predictions that e-books would eradicate paper books. Publishers around the world have for years feared digitization, but a recent study made by APP, an American publisher, shows that the paper book is in progress, while sales of e-books fall.

What’s the reason here? Why are there so many who still prefer reading printed books or magazines rather than read on a screen?

Reading comprehension, reading experience and contemplation

There are several reasons for this. Some of them were already mapped out in the introduction to this blog entry. Other reasons have to do with text comprehension, reading experience and contemplation.

You get a better text comprehension by reading paper books instead of e-books, and it is easier to remember what you have read. This is what an innovative study from the University of Stavanger carried out in 2015 showed. This is explained by the fact that the reader gets a sense of how far he is in the text and the brain needs to form a mental map of the text. It can be done, for example, by being able to feel how thick the book is, and how many pages you’ve already read. It’s also about getting a spacious feeling of the text; for example, a paper book makes you better remember on which page and how far in the book you’ve read a specific section.

Secondly, there is great difference when it comes to reading experience. Reading on a screen can be tiring for our eyes. According to a Swedish study, reading on a screen requires higher cognitive workload in comparison to reading on paper, and it can lead to headaches. Moreover, there is a tendency to sleep less if you read on a screen instead of paper before going to bed.

Thirdly, the printed media is in direct connection with contemplation. While you are sitting with a tablet, your messages, emails and notifications will pop up while you read. When you read a paper book, you can put other devices away and only be disturbed if you choose this. You can also take a paper book with you wherever you go, as stated by Gitte Balling, Associate Professor of Royal School of Library and Information Science at the University of Copenhagen. It can be read in the sun or in the train, you can pass it on to a friend; it can be unfolded or you can also mark the page you have reached. It never runs out of power.


Overall, reading in a printed media gives you a completely different experience. Therefore, next time you want to read your favourite magazine, you should consider going to the kiosk rather than finding your iPad.


Written by: Louise Akselsen.

Print Media

What you can learn from IKEA..

Although we spend more and more time on electronic media, the print media is also thriving. IKEA is taking new paths to add extra life to its world-famous catalogue. This may be something that you and your business might learn from.

The electronic media have revolutionized the way we all get our daily news. The weather forecast, the score in the FCK – Brøndby match and the recipe for chocolate cake are never further away than your smartphone.

But especially when it comes to advertising, the print media still plays a central role.

A study by Adobe* recently showed that twice as much of the advertising budget was used on print than on mobile platforms.

In our last newsletter we struck a blow for the power of absorption, which is one of the print medium’s greatest strengths, while this time we would like to look more closely at the widespread belief that the media will completely replace each other as if it were a natural evolutionary process.  We do not believe this. On the contrary, it is all about interaction.

The media must adapt to a new reality. There can be no doubt about this. But even though the time we spend on digital platforms is growing, this is far from being reflected in companies’ allocation of their advertising budgets.

– Print is still a central media, insists Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, who researches the development of the international news media.  Despite so many people rushing to say that digital is the only way forward, digitalis really only part of the way forward, he told DR.

IKEA shows the way

The companies’ choice of marketing channels is a good example.

We all know IKEA for supplying Swedish meatballs, fun product names and assembly instructions that can put any relationship to the test. But whatever one thinks about its cheap self-assembly furniture, IKEA is a professional when it comes to marketing. And it is IKEA who is behind a sophisticated vision of how electronic media and print media can work together optimally.

Each year IKEA publishes a catalogue, which with a circulation of 212 million copies printed in 29 languages has achieved the status of being the world’s largest marketing activity.

For many years the well-known catalogue has been IKEA’s largest marketing tool, but in an attempt to create more digital interaction between the catalogue and the customer’s smartphone, the furniture giant has now given the catalogue a digital update, including the launch of an app.

The app makes the catalogue more vivid with 3D views of furniture, videos, and stories behind the furniture’s design. It requires a download, but IKEA believes that this is not a barrier.

– Nowadays people navigate between traditional and digital media. The modern consumer is comfortable with apps, and we have seen positive results for it in other countries. Apps also provide far more possibilities as a tool for inspiration in relation to what we would like in the catalogue rather than just using a QR code, says IKEA Denmark’s Head of Marketing Lena Gaarde.

The IKEA catalogue is an icon in the marketing world, and customers around the world love it. So it also makes sense that IKEA is not saying goodbye to the physical printed catalogue, but is instead aiming to gain from the synergy of connecting the print and electronic media.

The IKEA example is just for inspiration, but next time you have to make a marketing campaign, you can think about how your business can get electronic media and print media to work together in an optimal way.


*The study was based on 214 billion ad displays on Google and Yahoo! Bing, collected from Adobe Analytics and Adobe Media Optimizer from 2013 to 2015.

Print Media

Summer is upon us… And that demands a great magazine

70% of all Danes prefer to read magazines in print rather than digitally. This is shown by a study prepared by YouGov for the Graphic Employee Association.

When you consider that our everyday life has gradually become digitized in every possible way, some people might argue that it is surprising that the traditional physical magazine still has a large fan base. But with a little thought we can see that print magazines have a wide range of advantages that no electronic media can match.

The Danish summer is upon us, and this is actually quite a good opportunity to illustrate the point: When we have our summer holidays, we finally have time to get immersed in things. Finally there is time to relax with a good book or a beautiful magazine.

Of course we can check electronic versions of magazines and the news on a tablet, but when we are enjoying our holiday by the hotel pool, it is still the book and the magazine that are our first choice. Because it is only the print media that can provide a physical and undisturbed reading experience. The print media has built-in peace and quiet and you also avoid the distractions that are par for the course when you are online.

Try to notice how often you get distracted when you are trying to read an article online. There are constant messages that the site uses cookies and at the edge of the screen there are dancing ads with the day’s offers on plane tickets or sunscreen. And if you are really lucky, a message will pop up to tell you that another e-mail has landed in your inbox.

So just the fact that you are offline with the print medium plays an important role when assessing the ability to get the reader to immerse themselves in the material.

The study by the research company YouGov also shows that 39% of respondents use magazines when they want to immerse themselves in a given subject.

There are several examples of illustrious media ‘turning things around 180 degrees’ and going ‘back’ to traditional print.

In the United States, Newsweek realized that there was a need for a print version and there are also some good examples on the domestic front. In 2014 the weekly newsletter Monday Morning chose to retrace its steps and appear in print again.

Here the primary reason for Monday Morning changing back was that the printed word has a special ability to retain impressions and information. The ability to keep the recipient’s attention simply makes the print medium more suited to present issues and agendas that require time and space for reflection. And also you do not need to have passwords, batteries or Internet access to immerse yourself in the magazine’s exciting stories.

Have a good summer – and happy reading!