First impressions count for a lot in business, but many businesses could too easily underestimate how especially applicable this is to print marketing. 

Far from “old-fashioned”, the likes of business cards, brochures and catalogues can, when designed well, lead to meaningful improvements in market share and customer loyalty, research commissioned by Adobe suggests. 

As not everyone your business seeks to target will rely heavily on the internet in their day-to-day lives, you should consider the following ways your print publicity materials could stand out.

Get your print materials into (a different) shape 

Many businesses basically score an own goal early on by simply using, without much thought, such standard shapes as squares and rectangles for their print marketing materials. 

However, going a little unorthodox with the shape of those materials can help to make them more noticeable in many target customers’ eyes. Your business cards, for example, could be printed out round or in a shape that reflects your profession; think a camera-like shape for a photographer.

Add texture – or create the illusion of it

Forbes contributor Vladimir Gendelman sets out the differences between embossing and debossing. While, on print materials, the former raises elements to create a three-dimensional effect, the latter depresses elements – with both techniques using pressure to produce their respective effects.

Alternatively, you could simply give your print materials the look of a material other than paper or card. Why not try replicating the appearance of, say, wood, leather or marble? 

Make your materials shine in more ways than one

You could give your materials a literal shine by applying a coating. While a gloss or semi-gloss coating could work well for a prestige company serving high-end clients, a soft-touch coating would, befitting its name, feel velvet-like to the touch, making it especially suitable for a clothing retailer. 

Coatings can also help to shield the treated surface from liquid damage or fingerprints – even if you opt for a matte coating, which would be still recommended if you don’t quite need a reflective shine. 

Foil your packaging to prevent being… foiled

This can work especially well for packaging beauty products, Cosmetics Business implies. Applying foil to your labels, for example, can leave a prestige, luxurious effect reflecting the quality within the box – with various colours, including gold, silver, copper and rose gold, available in this shiny form. 

The “hot foil” method would give you many colours from which to choose for uncoated and textured materials – more so than the “cold foil” technique, which would nonetheless be more cost-effective.

Use binding to create “proper” books

Unfortunately, leaflets and pamphlets can too often, as far as their recipients are concerned, feel disposable; in other words, things destined for the rubbish or recycling bin before they are even properly read. However, people might not be so rash to discard, say, a novel in the same fashion.

That’s why you could benefit from using a book binding machine to give your publications a more distinctive spine and leave them feeling more like informative books than flimsy booklets.