top 4 print advertising trends of 2018

Print advertising is alive and well. It is one component of an advertising campaign, but it is an important one that should not be forgotten.

The top four print advertising trends of 2018 work best when in conjunction with a digital campaign. But alone, they focus on telling a story that everyone, including younger consumers, can relate to.

1. Art

One of the biggest print advertising trends of 2018 is the use of art. Color, bold patterns, and a sense of artistry will be seen in 2018. Print advertising needs to describe feelings and sensations. It has to focus on how you will feel when using a product, not just on why you need a product.

Print advertising has the ability to literally paint a picture of what your life will be like when using a specific product or service. This art can target the past, present or future. It can show where you have come from, where you are, or where you want to be.

Art in print advertising is more about making your life complete rather than what it lacks. It focuses on the positive and not the negative. Print advertising will give you a vision of what life can look like and make you think, that yes, that is what it should be like.

This is hard to do. The art used in print advertising needs to be simple and bold, and quick to the point. It also needs to have layers and subtle nuances. Above all, it needs to be able to connect with someone quickly. Print advertising has a limited amount of time to get you to stop and think about what you see.

2. Simplicity

One of the biggest print advertising trends of 2018 will be the use of simplicity. This is nothing new in the advertising world. Rather, it is tried and true and so will continue to be used.

Apple’s iconic advertising campaign of 2003 that featured silhouettes of dancing people listening to their iPod is a clear reason why simplicity works. In this campaign, which was both digital and print, the people used are not actually seen. Rather, it is just their outlines, or silhouettes. The emphasis, then, was not on race or beauty, but rather on enjoyment. Anyone can enjoy music via an iPod.

Print advertising of 2018 will keep simplicity at its forefront. It will keep graphics minimal. It will allow for a broader interpretation so that everyone can see themselves using the product. Simplicity means that the advertisement will impact more people.

3. Authenticity

Similar to the theme of simplicity in print advertising trends of 2018 is the notion of authenticity. There has been a major pushback with regards to airbrushing. Consumers want to see themselves in advertising, not unattainable icons.

The beauty and fashion industries will especially use authenticity in their print advertising. Aerie, the lingerie brand from American Eagle, started an unretouched ad campaign in 2014. It uses the pictures of models but does not retouch them in their ad campaigns. While this advertising started a few years ago, it remains in effect in 2018. Indeed, more and more companies are following suit.

Another retail brand, Loft, which is under the umbrella of the Ann Taylor brand, is launching a plus size line of clothing. It includes fun, stylish clothes. Companies are realizing that everyone needs clothes, regardless of their shape or size. Loft, and other stores with plus size clothing, use plus size models in their print advertising to show that their brands are authentic and inclusive.

4. Millennial Target

The target of print advertising is millennials. Millennials live in a digital age, but are still exposed to print sources. And millennials have the disposable income that is coveted by advertisers.

Millennials hit that key demographic, of 18 to 35. Ironically, so many millennials have disposable income because large items like housing has become unaffordable. They are also the trendsetters. Millennials set the trends and others will follow.

To target this specific group of people with print advertising, it is important to understand how they access print sources. Free daily newspapers are read on public transportation during a commute to work. Niche magazines like Bust are consumed primarily by millennials, so print advertising can reach a specific demographic through them.