Paper creates an emotional connection.   While printers and print devices are not necessarily emotionally charged, their output often is.  Say you’ve worked for months on a research paper or white paper – writing, editing and revising within a word processing program on a computer.

Imagine watching your 30-page document come out of the printer, seeing the physical representation of your hard work as you edit each page, and feeling the literal weight of your words in your hand. . . it’s going to produce emotions – relief and satisfaction that you’re finished, excitement that your thoughts are about to go out into the world, and so on.

A joint study from Temple University and the United States Postal Service measured subjects’ heart rates, sweat, movement, and breathing while reading to determine their emotional responses. Not only did paper documents elicit a more substantial emotional response, but readers also remembered more clearly what they read.

Other researchers have found, using functional magnetic resonance imagery (fMRI), that paper seems to make information more “real” to the brain. When study participants viewed the same material on cards and on screens, they registered higher activity in the area of the brain that integrates visual and special information with the physical media – meaning printed material leaves a deeper footprint in the brain.

Certain printing machines can add elements like the pebbling on a basketball to create a sensory experience for readers, making a normally flat image pop into the third dimension and encouraging consumers to touch the page – which, some evidence suggests, can boost a product’s brand image.

Including an element like gold foil can increase a customer’s perception of a product’s value . . .

Olaf Lorenz, August 14, 2019 – General Manager, International Marketing Division, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH.

Time to turn the page: The emotional value of paper (

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