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This is Not the Death of the Lookbook – 10 reasons why the printed brochure remains a powerful tool within fashion marketing


Alison Branch, managing director of Park Communications, argues the case for the printed lookbook with her top reasons for why printed marketing collateral has never been as relevant as it is now – even in the ‘digital age.’

All images supplied by Media Vision

fashion_lookbookPrint and online media have been competing for marketing budget long enough for communication teams to start to understand their relative strengths but also to understand that there are benefits to both – and, even better, they work best in conjunction.

fashion_lookbookBut, for those of you in doubt, here are ten reasons why the printed brochure remains a powerful tool within fashion marketing:

  1. It is much easier to convey colours accurately on paper…. the colour of a fabric, fastening, trimming or accessory or will look different on different screens.
  2. Similarly, the colour accuracy of print allows brand colours to be conveyed more accurately.
  3. In a printed brochure, conveying the details, texture and tactility of the cloth, trimmings and fastenings is facilitated by the option to apply a finer screen to the image and to choose creative uncoated papers and finishes.
  4. It is much easier to convey luxury on paper by using creative papers, the highest quality printing and luxurious finishes.
  5. Double page images/spreads create impact and better convey the lifestyle offered by the pieces. Double page images are much easier to incorporate in a printed piece that on screen
  6. It is much harder to capture attention for the marketing piece on a screen, whereas in a printed piece you can capture attention by adding interesting bindings, finishes, papers, or a mix of papers and a mix of page sizes.  And you can also add a wider range of interesting colours such as fluorescent or metallic ones to the typography and design.
  7. Engagement and memory encoding are both enhanced when more senses are engaged. Print engages sight, touch, sound (turning the page), and smell, so the impact is heightened and retained in the reader’s memory for longer. (By way of reference to Crossmodal Research Laboratory, Oxford University).  Online comms engages fewer senses. We see this so often in practice when we show examples of our work. Visitors pick up a brochure, run their hands over the cover to feel it and then savour the physical turning of pages. They may even have a good smell of it!
  8. Choosing a new garment or accessory is often a decision made after consultation with a friend of family member. Shared viewing of the marketing content is easier with a printed brochure than online.
  9. 69% of readers are more relaxed when taking information from print rather than online. (Two Sides: Literacy and Learning 2015)
  10. Printed communications have staying power! For example, research carried out by Royal Mail found that printed mail items stayed around the home 17 days, on average, before being discarded.

fashion_lookbookIn conducting their research, Two Sides also found that while there is stronger acceptance of digital media among younger age groups, there was no evidence to suggest that their preferences were significantly different from older ages, with a preference for print existing in all age groups.

fashion_lookbook‘So, while I may be a little biased about the ongoing relevance of print marketing solutions, there is compelling evidence to suggest that its importance in the marketing mix is as strong as ever!

No wonder the fashion mailer/ short look book still arrives in the post to tempt you to go to the website and no wonder that most luxury brands still use print’ Alison Branch, 22 September 2016.

fashion_lookbookTo see some examples of Park Communications work for fashion brands inclusive of Mulberry (Cara Delevigne Collection), Ted Baker and Dunhill, visit the site here.

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