The Power Of Touch

Blog » The Power Of Touch
November 18, 2016
Solution: Creative & Design Solutions
Hand flipping through a book

Haptics is the science of touch. Haptic communication is non-verbal communication and refers to the way people interact to surfaces and textures using their sense of touch.

“More than half the brain is devoted to processing sensory experience, and much of that sensory receptivity focuses on touch.” Sappi

The tactile experience of holding and viewing a printed brochure, catalog or invite that utilizes unique paper, ink or bindery options can leave your customers with a deeper understanding of your brand and can even trigger certain emotions, leading to greater recall power. This experience is unique to print and does not occur with digital marketing.

When designing a printed piece (a brochure, mailing, package, etc.), think about the many ways you can incorporate the sense of touch to add emotion, communicate a message or increase the amount of information your viewers can recall. Here are a few techniques that can help you achieve your goal:


You can’t feel ink on paper but with thermography you can. Thermography is a printing technique that combines wet ink with a resin powder and uses heat to produce a raised ink. Traditionally utilized for business cards and letterhead, it adds a classical feeling of quality and prestige.

Varnishes, coatings or lamination.

Gloss or dull varnishes, UV coatings or even a raised gloss UV can be applied all over or to spot areas to give the appearance of dimension. Textured UV coatings can be applied to simulate sandpaper or other surfaces. A favorite here at Strategic Factory is soft-touch laminate, which creates a smooth-to-the-touch finish, which makes you want to touch and hold on to the printed piece longer.

Embossing or debossing.

Using a metal die, an image or text is pressed into the paper, either raising or compressing the paper. This can be on top of ink or blind embossed, meaning the paper is raised/compressed without ink, creating a subtle and sophisticated look.


Papers come in all colors and textures. Laid paper has a ribbed texture, Linen has the feel of natural linen, and Felt is soft-textured. Classic Crest Columns has thick raised stripes and comes in duplex (two different colored sheets are fused together, so the paper is extra thick and each side has a different color.) There are even papers that feel like suede or leather. Consider printing on a brown Kraft paper or using corrugated cardboard for packaging to create an earthy, recycled feeling.

Die cut or Laser die cutting.

Paper can be precisely laser cut showing layers below. An invite or brochure that is die cut is playful and the viewer will to want to touch and experience it.

Lenticular printing.

Multiple images are printed on textured plastic sheeting so that as the plastic is moved from side to side, the image changes. This can be used to show movement, such as your product being used. It is similar to a flip-book…who wouldn’t want to touch it and enjoy the show!

Binding options.

Various binding options add an additional level of texture. Comb, Plastic Coil and Wiro bindings allow your printed piece to open flat and increase the ease of usability of your piece. Screw bound uses plastic or metal posts, allowing for an exposed spine, and is frequently used for swatch books or items that may need to be “fanned” out.  Consider adding ribbons, ties or grommets as a binding or decal to create a handmade scrapbook feel when designing and creating invites. All of these unique binding options make your project stand out and your viewer feel special.

If you’re looking for design or production ideas to produce a memorable printed mailer, catalog, or package that will stand out and boost your brand, give us a call today!




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