The Five Biggest Misconceptions About Print

When you’ve been in the print industry as long we have, you hear a lot of crazy things. It seems like since the beginning of time, every new technology that surfaces is “the thing that will replace print.Yet here we are in 2014, and print is still alive and kicking. Print looks a lot different these days, I will admit, but it is still an important part of the marketing mix.

That’s why, on behalf of print, I would like to clear up five major misconceptions about this industry using facts from “Print is Big” U.S. and Worldwide Industry Statistics.

1). Print Is Dead

Would you believe me if I told you that the origins of this statement date back to the 1984 movie “Ghostbusters”? O.K., someone probably said it long before that, but it’s still interesting to note that 30 years ago, the character Egon Spengler uttered these very words in the movie.

Three decades later, print is most certainly not dead and could be considered bigger than ever. In fact, here is how the print industry compares to other forms of media in dollars spent:

  • Music: $67 billion
  • Video game industry: $33 billion
  • Online advertising industry: $147 billion
  • Print: $640 billion — and drives $3.8 trillion in related services

2). Print is Bad for the Environment

The print industry is not only environmentally friendly, but also one of the most sustainable industries around.  Here are some facts about print and the environment:

  • There are more forests in the U.S. today than there were 50 years ago.
  • The paper industry plants three times more trees than it cuts.
  • 70% of supposedly “junk” mail is printed on recycled paper.

3). People Don’t Read Their Mail

Most people practice a “mail routine,” getting their mail the same time each day and sorting through it as a regular habit. In fact, 80% of households read or browse their advertising mail, 24% share print articles and 23% save print articles.

4). Print Is Ineffective

Direct mail brings in 78% of donations for non-profits, increased U.S. company sales in 2010 by $702 billion and earns higher response rates than email, which continues to decline.

5). All Printers Are the Same

For obvious reasons, this one really hits home. Unfortunately, there are a lot of companies who’ve had bad experiences with printers, but the print industry is as diverse as any industry, and all printers are not the same. Many printers are in the habit of just “taking orders” (see related article, “Zagat’s Guide to Buying Print: Order Takers Versus Solution Presenters” by clicking here ).

A true “partner in print” will ask a series of questions and lend an attentive ear to discover how print and the related print services can help your company reach its goals and solve its problems.

For more interesting facts about the print industry, visit

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