Intergraf releases report comparing print and digital media

2 July 2024

Intergraf released a research review titled "Comparing Print and Digital Media”, offering an in-depth analysis of sustainability, efficiency, and perceptions surrounding print and digital communication tools. This extensive desk research, synthesizing insights from over 75 studies, is a pivotal resource for understanding the nuanced roles of different media in contemporary communication.

With the aim to combat misconceptions and give print and digital means of communication their true value in the communication mix, Intergraf undertook to compile a summary of existing studies in the field. Intergraf launches a report summarizing the findings of the “Comparing Print and Digital Media” research project. This report focuses on four themes: sustainability, reading, marketing, and the digital divide.



The report challenges prevailing misconceptions about the environmental impact of print and digital media. Notably, it highlights that the digital sector has an increasing environmental footprint when looking at its global emissions, energy consumption and waste production. The analysis emphasizes the need for critical evaluation of Life Cycle Assessments, which can be biased based on underlying assumptions.


Delving into reading comprehension and leisure reading, the report underscores that print media remains crucial for facilitating reading comprehension, retention and learning, particularly in education. While digital media broadens the definition of reading, it does not replace the unique benefits offered by print. Both mediums provide distinct advantages and should be viewed as complementary rather than interchangeable.


Despite the rise of digital marketing, print marketing provides important contribution to the marketing mix. The report illustrates how print media enhances digital campaigns by boosting online engagement, sustaining customer retention, and driving purchasing behaviour. Print's unique "lock-in power" offers businesses a valuable tool for maintaining customer loyalty.

Digital Divide

The persistent digital divide within the EU is another focal point. This divide manifests in disparities in access, skills, and integration throughout Europe across various digital domains such as e-health, e-government, and e-banking. The report points to the ongoing challenges and the need for print to ensure all citizens can be effectively reached.

Intergraf's report calls on stakeholders to recognize the complexities inherent in comparing print and digital media. It advocates for a balanced perspective that appreciates the complementary strengths of each medium rather than viewing them as substitutes. Additionally, the report urges a critical approach to the methodologies employed in studies evaluating these communication tools.

The research review project conducted by Intergraf is set to inform future discussions and strategies in the fields of communication, marketing, and sustainability, promoting a more nuanced understanding of the interplay between print and digital media.


Access the report

The “Comparing Print and Digital Media” report is available for download via the Intergraf website here. Fill out the form to receive a download link via email.


See the press release in .pdf here.