Designing for the Z generation: Does print matter? -- drupa - May 28 to June 7, 2024 - Messe Düsseldorf
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Designing for the Z generation: Does print matter?

Foto von Balázs Kétyi







A guest article by Amanda Garcia Rosa (Graphic-Designer at www.mandidesign.co).

I am Amanda, graphic designer located in Barcelona and part of the Generation Z - individuals born between 1996 and 2012. Many ask me if print media is still relevant for a generation that has grown up in digital and in the so-called connected world? While the digital landscape dominates my life and the one of the Z generations, it is important to acknowledge that we are not robots and print still holds significance, however in certain contexts and situations. I propose we look at it together.

As a graphic designer, I consider paper as essential in my daily routine. In the morning, while having my coffee, I read the news and emails on my phone. Then, I check my physical agenda and make a list of the tasks of the day. I like to have the full view of things and I can make quick annotation including funny one. Throughout the day, at my work and at my desk, I use sticky notes and notepads to write down quick notes and reminders. Despite the convenience of note-taking apps on mobile devices, I find satisfaction in physically writing, as it facilitates my organization and my prioritization process.

When I have a meeting with a client, I always bring along my notepad and business cards which includes the address of my online portfolio showcasing samples of my best work. Depending on the type of service I am offering, I also carry some printed samples of my previous work. The physical presentation creates a more impactful and memorable experience for the client, as they can feel the texture of the paper and appreciate the quality of the printed colors, further reinforcing the perception of the value of my work. We all spend hours watching screen and moving a way from computers helps to have better conversations.

Amanda Garcia's desk

The Print Magazine Constancezahn

The Digital Magazine Constancezahn

So far, you could say that I mainly use paper and pencils, post-it, notepads office printing for client projects. This is true but I see print to be relevant elsewhere.

Graphic design visuals such as posters, magazines, physical books, packaging, and printed promotional materials have the ability to attract attention and convey a message in a unique, engaging and memorable way. Immersing oneself in a printed book, for example, allows us to appreciate the act of flipping through pages, feeling the paper's texture, marking our favorite parts, and having a deeper immersion in reading and knowledge. My generation need to disconnect from digital distractions and endless notifications – I am sure you will agree on that. This moment of immersion and contemplation in the physical world can be deeply gratifying, allowing for greater concentration and imagination. The quality of printing, the textures of the paper, and the careful design of printed publications convey more credibility and prestige, something valued by the Generation Z and others, I hope.

With all brands investing in digital marketing where everyone looks more or less the same, print media has become a differentiating factor. The thousands of ads on social networks, unsolicited spam, and other approaches are often ignored by most consumers. However, printed materials do not always go unnoticed, as they provide a creative and unique way to present a brand, with endless possibilities to attract consumers, to convey messages and to educate.

Based on my experience as a designer in the publishing industry, I have observed that both print and digital magazines have distinct advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between them depends on readers' preferences and publishers' needs. While some appreciate the physical and tactile experience of a printed magazine, others prefer the convenience and interactivity offered by the digital version. Considering the Generation Z's familiarity with digital interaction, it is important to combine print and digital media for a comprehensive experience. Through courses and software specializations, I have been able to adapt to both formats, from print to digital, incorporating to print features such as QR codes, website links, social media, and videos, providing interactive and engaging content for a diverse audience. In addition to careful design and content curation, the magazine has been marketed with the aim of offering exclusive or personalized content that encourages collecting, which has proven to be perfect for Generation Z. These elements add value and make the experience of owning a printed magazine even more special and unique for this audience.

About the author

Amanda Garcia Rosa

Amanda Garcia Rosa is a graphic designer from São Paulo with extensive experience in editorial design. To broaden her skills, she moved to Barcelona to study a Master's degree in Digital Publishing at BAU extending her expertise from traditional editorial designer to the new digital technologies. Over the past years, she created communication materials for both print and digital media, ensuring visual coherence and delivering impactful design solutions. Her goal is to enhance brand image and help businesses to connect effectively with their audience.

To find out more about Amanda visit her portfolio under www.mandidesign.co

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