Conversation Starters

As Bolger has grown there have been numerous changes socially and environmentally that are continually shaping our industry. On this page I want to address the things which I feel are relevant to our industry and begin a conversation with the greater community.

D. Bolger

The Brain Does Prefer Print!
It's official!
What printers have been saying for years is now substantiated!

"People understand and remember what they read on paper better than what they read on screen."

Ferris Jabr, "Why the Brain Prefers Paper"

In this study by Dr. Jabr, and in the study of the neuro science of touch (haptics) by Dr. David Eagleman, the idea of communication, paper, persuasion and TOUCH, gives us a better understanding of our brain and the part that is devoted to the sensory experience of touch. Psychologists say that when touch is part of the experience, it shifts the brain into a deep level of engagement conducive to building knowledge. In other words, because of touch, we retain more of what we read and as a result, can recall that information when necessary.

Researchers believe the physicality of paper explain these findings. People read better on paper for three primary reasons: it makes content more intuitively navigable, it facilitates better mental mapping of information, and reading on paper drains fewer of our cognitive resources, making retention a little easier. According to Dr. Eagleman, when we read on paper we process information differently, keeping a deeper level of interest on the page. There is also a difference in the type of paper used, whether it is the quality, gloss or uncoated, or the weight of the paper. Marketers might also look at the rewards for utilizing printed materials in promoting their products in light of these studies.

Dr. Eagleman spoke at a recent Sappi sponsored event that was both enlightening and entertaining. How WHAT WE TOUCH shapes WHAT WE FEEL. And TOUCH can also shape WHAT WE KNOW.

Something to think about next time we read a book, study class notes, or read a magazine or publication online.

D. Bolger - May 2016

E-books – Screen Time for Babies? Students? The Rest of Us?

A recent New York Times article by Douglas Quenqua, reported that this is a question parents, pediatricians and researchers are struggling to answer. The American Academy of Pediatrics has advised parents for years to read to their children early and often citing studies showing linguistic, verbal and social benefits. With the advent of so many electronics, the Academy also recommends no screen time for children under two and less than two hours a day for older children.


As a parent what would you do? Seems the National Association for the Education of Young Children feels we don’t know how the process of reading to children will be affected by digital technology because there isn’t a lot of data available because tablets and e-readers have not been in use long enough.


But, according to Quenqua, Dr. Pamela High, a pediatrician working with the Academy suggests that a handful of new studies say reading to a child from an electronic device undercuts the dynamic that drives language development. Dr. High points to a 2013 study where researchers found that children who were read to them from an electronic book had lower reading comprehension than parents who read traditional books. Part of the reason was that more time was being spent on the device itself rather than the story. Parents using traditional books were more likely to engage in a back and forth discussion of the story and how it relates to the child’s life, a key factor in linguistic development.


The same could probably be said about college students who prefer the actual textbook (and they do) to e-books because they can write in it, highlight and underline it, and easily reference something.


According to an article by Niall McCarthy in Forbes magazine, the e-book industry pales in comparison to $53.9 billion in print, and those readers still prefer holding those dusty old paperbacks and hardcovers.


And so the debate goes on. Probably for a long time to come until some additional data is available to convince us one way or the other. But reading to a child with a book in hand makes sense. Not only do you get the story, but in my mind one of the little luxuries of being a parent, and reading to your child.

It’s that closeness that you’ll remember long after the book is gone.


So draw your own conclusions. From the evidence gathered by the experts , we believe the printed word is still as strong as it has always been, whether it’s a Dad and his daughter reading “Green Eggs and Ham” or “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus”, a college student highlighting a textbook, or just sitting by the fire reading a favorite novel. Maybe it’s a little of both traditional and electronic?





A sampling of recent work with our business partners in: Retail, Media, the Arts, Healthcare and Education.

Bolger receives Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) Certification


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