Do your print finishing techniques and processes consider our sense of touch?

When it comes to the perfect print product, there are many factors to think about. Quality, cost and efficiency are common topics we often take into consideration – but what about our sense of touch when it comes to print finishing techniques?

Touch is important when it comes to producing high quality print products your customers will love. Modern print techniques can add different tactile finishes, which produce printed applications that demand to be touched, admired, and interacted with.

Close up image of a person s face and eyes painted with bright ink colours

These techniques provide creatives with a powerful, vibrant, and memorable way to grab and hold attention. And this is realised through more than just the type of paper you choose – it extends back into the technology, hardware and production processes your organisation chooses to adopt.

Are you ready to explore how these possibilities can produce impactful results that encourage instinctive engagement? Read on to find out more.

Why does touch matter?

Touch is a sense we experience even before we are born and we use it instinctively from the moment we take our first breath. We rely on it to communicate physical and emotional information.

We can’t help but pick things up. Feeling their shape, texture and weight enables us to better assess what we are holding. It helps us make everyday decisions – is the towel dry, the cup of tea hot, the fruit ripe, the seat comfortable?

It can influence abstract concepts too. Such as hardness signifying greater rigidity than softness – and it can also affect what we pay attention to and how we respond.

How does touch drive engagement with print products?

A study by Canadian neuromarketing firm TrueImpact, sponsored by Canada Post, compared printed direct mail with digital email and display ads, using three key metrics: cognitive load (ease of understanding), attention (how long subjects looked at the content), and motivation (persuasiveness).

It found direct mail requires 21% less cognitive workload resulting in higher brand recall. It focuses attention more successfully because of a lack of distractions. Direct mail is also more persuasive than digital media as its motivation response is 20% higher. This shows the true value of considering our sense of touch in your print finishing techniques and processes.

Which print products are most influenced by touch?

The ability to drive engagement through touch adds value to not just direct mail. Point of Purchasing, packaging, greetings cards, invitations, business cards and more can all be transformed with the addition of a haptic element through your print finishing techniques or processes.

And while memory recall is likely to be higher when high quality paper is used, engaging our sense of touch creates a feeling of ownership that prompts action.

How can the digital production process support your print techniques?

Aside from the choice of paper, a haptic element can also be added in the digital production process.

The Ricoh Pro C9200 Series of digital colour sheetfed presses can deliver a matte or glossy feel during the printing of applications, while systems such as Duplo’s DuSense sensory coater add a layer of coating. It can lay the coating on pre-assigned areas to create different thicknesses and achieve a variety of high impact effects. These sensory results can be further enhanced with the addition of metallic designs using Color-Logic.

The capability can open huge opportunities according to InfoTrends. It reported 30% of all colour pages (offset and digital) receive some type of special effects enhancement. However just 0.5% are currently being enhanced with a digital process. The potential is huge, particularly as print buyers are prepared to pay an 89% premium for textured work.

print finishing on demand webinar

How Ricoh can help you enhance the impact of touch on your print products

Ricoh has developed a series of Digital Works Creative Inspiration Guides showcasing the production possibilities that address key growth areas identified by InfoTrends. The Neon book covers spot colour, gamut extension, and fluorescent. The Metal book focuses on metallics and the Clear book features coating and security. There are books for white and foil applications as well and a forthcoming Touch book will highlight textured finishes.

The series includes a design guide with tips and tricks on how to fully deploy these enhancement print techniques. As well as original artwork for print ready examples.

Find out more with Ricoh’s Anything in Print insight and guidance

Ricoh has years of experience in understanding the vital role print plays in an organisation. We specialise in analysing the needs of your business, identifying the right solutions for both you and your people. Integrating them seamlessly into your workflows – ensuring your people know how to make the most of them.

We can help you discover the right technology, products and processes you need which introduce print techniques that consider and incorporate our sense of touch, and help you take advantage of the opportunity for your business.

Read our ‘Anything in Print’ guide today.

Tim Carter

Ricoh UK Sales Director Commercial Print

Read all articles by Tim Carter