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Phone: 785-760-5071
Email: mike@clnonline.com


 


The trends, the issues, and productive business strategies.

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Paper Vs. Digital Or ...

... Is there a profitable middle ground?

Ask most scrapbookers, and many of the shops who serve them, to define themselves, and they will say there are two camps traditional paper scrappers and those who work digitally. But there is common ground. Hybrid scrapbooking offers a harmony of traditional and more modern techniques, enabling crafters of all backgrounds to experiment with different techniques.

With digital scrapbooking, crafters get the flexibility of being able to try many different designs without wasting physical materials. There's no clean-up or storage space needed for all of the bits and supplies. With digital creations, crafters also have the option of sharing their work online via e-mail or social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace or DaisyTrail (www.daisytrail.com).

Traditional scrapbooking, however, is a craft with a rich history. Preserving memories and materials in a handcrafted layout is a very tactile, emotional experience. Physical scrapbooks can utilize materials from your life, such as ticket stubs and greeting cards, and can be given to loved ones to mark special occasions and passed down through generations.

Hybrid scrapbooking is a great activity for people who want to enjoy the advantages of the digital world but who also want to add real-life pizzazz to their layouts with embellishments, glitter, and other materials. The results of hybrid scrapbooking are often richer and more vibrant than pages using a single technique. It is a great way to encourage a younger generation of crafters to try out their own designs particularly as more youths embrace social networking web sites that encourage creation of profile pages that are akin to personal scrapbooks.

To make a hybrid page, a scrapbooker can begin by using software such as Digital Scrapbook Artist (www.serif.com/scrapbook) which boasts a unique combination of creativity and ease of use. With the program, crafters can alter every item, piece of text or photos, right on the page, and any piece of memorabilia, such as menus, badges, or swatches of fabric can be scanned and saved as a digital image to be included on a page. Once the page is printed, the scrapper can break out the glue and go to work affixing embellishments from rhinestones or stickers to personal souvenirs such as business cards or postcards.

Retailers and distributors do not have to move away from offering traditional paper craft products to embrace the digital movement. Promoting hybrid scrapbooking can be a natural way to launch sales of digital scrapbooking software programs and a smooth way to boost the profiles of other existing lines of materials such as cardstock, ribbon, glitter, specialized scissors, and books. Serif also offers its Preferred Retailer Program (www.serif.com/sprp), which provides members with cash-back incentives, marketing materials, and other resources to help them attract and retain digital scrapbooking customers.

By blending traditional and digital practices, scrapbookers can explore new horizons in creativity, and retailers and distributors can find new opportunities to introduce and expand their lines.

(Note: Ashley Hewson is sales director at Serif and was directly involved with the creation of Digital Scrapbook Artist. For more information, visit http://www.serif.com/scrapbook and watch for Serif's online community for scrapbookers, which is currently in beta. To comment on the article, email your thoughts to CLN at mike@clnonline.com

xxx

 

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