YIKEA! The IKEA Catalog’s Demise
An article published at the end of last year in The Wall Street Journal is fascinating, even though what it is telling us is what we already know: Printed work is falling off a cliff. The IKEA Catalog, which was printed annually for over 70 years and distributed at its peak to 200 million people, has been killed. It is indeed our loss, because we know the power of the physical artifact, the marketing that represents your brand with its tactile presence and can embody the qualities of design that are less ephemeral than a moment on a screen. Paper selections, color control, proportion that cannot be changed depending on the “device” being used, work that appeals to the multiple senses. That’s print. So, whither print design in the years ahead? Perhaps print work is already a niche, a luxury, surviving as a way of distinguishing your brand, like the Prada purse that costs a fortune even though it has the same basic function as a simple sack–and is all the more desirable for that reason. There has always been a need for distinction. In fact, separating your brand from others is the very essence of marketing. In an online world, print makes that distinction more likely.