Embracing paper: Navigating the digital age with tangible delight

Every year we assess what the business looks like, what needs to be cut, how we can work smarter, faster, etc. It would be fair to say that one of the first conversations during our strategy sessions is to review our publishing arm of the business.

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11 Mar 2024

Feeling the Feels: Why Paper Still Rocks

Screens dominate our lives, and as a workplace, we aim to be as paper-free as possible. But, call me old fashioned, there's something undeniably comforting about paper. Sure, we live in a digital era where everything from our grocery lists to our favourite novels can be accessed with a simple tap, but let's not forget the simple joys and practicalities that paper brings to our lives. I am passionate about the tactile experience, and while we do a lot (mostly) digital work, I love everything about paper – right down to the smell when it comes of the printing press.

Why have I been thinking about this? We produce the official visitor map for Invercargill, and we simply can’t keep them on the shelf.

Lost in the Map: The Magic of Physical Guides

Google Maps can do it, so why do we need it? But there is something that adds to your trip: physically holding a visitor map, tracing your finger along winding streets, and finding hidden gems. There's an undeniable magic in physically holding a map, feeling the paper crinkle beneath your fingertips as you plot your next adventure.

And for years we have produced a physical visitor brochure. We thought, surely, this is a medium of the past. There is TripAdvisor and hundreds of visitor-specific websites and apps; our phones can guide us anywhere we want to go and give us any information we need. I can’t imagine why anyone would want a brochure, and yet we are inundated with requests for them.

And what about leisure reading? The high-end magazine, for example, or your favourite novel. It's a sensory experience that simply can't be replicated by a cold, glass screen.

From Screen to Script: Finding Joy in Pen and Paper

And I know, you’ll find this from a digital agency, very old school, but I will be honest: there is a real joy in the handwritten note, the satisfaction of crossing off tasks on a physical to-do list, or the thrill of receiving a heartfelt letter in the mail (in fairness, I can’t remember when this last happened – but I do love it). In a world that's constantly moving at the speed of light, there's a certain grounding quality to the simplicity of pen and paper.

So, here's to paper – an enduring symbol of tradition, nostalgia, and tangible delight in an increasingly digital world.