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To have and to hold: why we’re still in love with print

A recent poll by ICM has found that music streaming sites are helping to drive sales of vinyl. This seems a contradictory statement, but in fact, half of consumers say they have listened to an album online before buying a vinyl copy. Why are people buying physical copies of albums they can listen to online?


It’s all about the tangibility of print. The research shows that young people (aged between 25 – 34) are the most likely to purchase vinyl in this way; it’s nostalgic, and it’s fashionable.


What’s the knock-on effect for the world of print?

The resurgence of vinyl is great news for the print industry. High quality printed artwork is more valued than ever. It’s an innate human instinct that we appreciate a physical object more than its digital counterpart.

The BBC report on ICM’s research is backed up by opinions from the music industry. Shaznay Lewis (All Saints) compares the feeling of owning a physical record to ‘books’. “I want to own the book, turn the pages,” she says. Singer-songwriter, James Morrison, agrees: “I still like buying a physical album and looking through the booklet. It’s nice to have a connection physically to something you own, rather than it being in the cloud somewhere online.”

How can the print industry make the most of the current trend?

Keeping up with the current popularity for printed materials is key if you want a successful future in the print industry, so ensure you get the process right from the start. Start with a colour calibration tool such as X-Rite’s i1 DisplayPro. It offers professional levels of display calibration for the most discerning photographers, designers and imaging professionals, looking for the highest standards of on-screen colour accuracy.

Image looking good on-screen? Your printer set-up is the next step to amazing print quality. Try the Epson SureColor SC-P7000 Violet Spectro (24IN) printer. It comes with a ten-colour ink-set, an Epson TFP PrecisionCore printhead and a Spectroproofer powered by X-Rite to create accurate and long-lasting results.

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As for the best quality paper? We stock over 2,000 – find out what sort of paper suits your needs on our previous blog: Our 3 Key Tips For Choosing The Right Paper For Your Photos. The feel of different types of paper is what makes the physical object so appealing; from the glossy finish of lustre, to the coffee-table book style of matte. Creating something tangible from a myriad of digital images is a very exciting moment for most people, but an amazing photograph can immediately lose its impact if it’s not printed on the correct paper.

In some ways, the survey tells us what those of us in print already knew, but it’s encouraging to see that the younger generation, despite an upbringing immersed in a digital world, have the same affinity with something tangible as we do. Is your print on trend? Get in touch with us for tips and advice.