The sense of touch

The human senses and printing. It may seem a bizarre combination. You would be surprised however, how the human senses are triggered when reading a magazine, brochure or catalog. Appealing to the sense of 'feeling' - the sense of touch - is one of the challenges of print these days. Because printed communications can, among other things because of their physical nature, more often than not elicit an emotional response from recipients.

But what about the 'feeling'? Lovers of printed matter are so because you can 'feel' printed communications. The sense of touch is the reason why there are still notebooks on desks. That touch is very difficult to simulate digitally. The scientific term for touch is 'haptics'. 

In some smartphones, a haptic response vibration is integrated when the screen is pressed. This is also used in various types of games. But while there is plenty of experimentation with touch in electronics, the graphic industry dominates this sensory category. If you can reach into your wallet and pull out that ultra-thick, embossed, linen-lined business card, you have fallen victim to the 'cool' that is haptics.

Remember the message
Most importantly, scientific evidence shows that print uses more senses than online communication. Moreover, the impact of offline on our senses is often higher and longer lasting compared to online communication. And the more senses that are actively used, the more brain activity and the better we process, understand and remember the message.

Multi-sensory customer experience
According to Senta, a marketing consultancy firm specialized in multi-sensory customer experience, many companies focus mainly on visual aspects. "That's a missed opportunity," it says. "Everyone has a personal sensory talent; in addition, some senses are often better developed than others. For example, someone who smells or sees badly often has a better developed sense for hearing or feeling. There is also a difference between the senses of men and women. Seeing and hearing are considered male talents, while women generally feel, taste and smell better."

Get in touch
Curious about what print can do for the senses of your end users? Get in touch with us! Call us on +32 (0)14 61 10 13 or send an e-mail to