Sometimes a business needs to go a little old-school. Most of us know tricks to turn paper documents into digital formats, but what about the other way around? If a business already has systems for digital communications such as e-newsletters in place, does the entire wheel have to be reinvented?
There are certainly some key differences between digital and traditional documents, but there are four simple ways to return to tradition.
1. Use the right software
Everyone has copy-and-pasted a website into a Word document … and it’s no secret that it looks terrible. This is the newbie way to go about it, and it never works.
Instead, use a software program that works well for a business, whether it’s Publisher, InDesign, Photoshop or something else. Everyone should be well-versed in the basics of putting together a document in your firm’s favorite software; if not, some training is necessary.
Word should never be used to transform digital documents into printable ones. In an ideal world, all digital documents should already be automatically transferable. Work with a webmaster or tech support to get this taken care of. When properly set up, this is what happens when you see a document online and there’s an option to “view in print format.”
2. Change the perspective
When people read digital documents, they have much different needs and expectations from someone who receives a paper mailing. For example, links are often present in many online documents.
On the other hand, many things remain the same, such as the desire for high-quality images. It’s much easier to make things look crisp and clear online than in print. This calls for keeping an eye on paper and printer quality. No print documents should be created on an at-home printer with the ink almost gone. Re-focus on quality in tangible office products to create great documents.
3. Include white space and large fonts
People can zoom in on digital documents, but that’s not an option with a print version. There’s no CTRL-F button there! This means you need to employ a more traditional marketing lens.
White space soothes the eye, and fonts should be set at a size that’s comfortable to read. For longer documents, choose a serif font to make it easier to scan. You can use sans-serif fonts for short texts.
4. The return of the JPEG
It really doesn’t matter what format you use to include images with your documentation. In a world where video marketing is all the rage, it might seem counterintuitive to go back to infographics or just plain old images without any fancy names. Images worked just fine in print for decades, though, and they still do. Whether it’s a drawing, photo or graph, you want to choose an arresting image to add some spunk to your documents.
Switching from digital to traditional can be a little tricky, especially if your business is full of younger workers who may never have worked in print. However, it can also be lucrative and a smart move to employ a little throwback marketing every now and then. Tap into those creative juices from college and re-experience how powerful tangible documents can be.