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Prints Regaining Popularity in the UK

April 09, 2021

A December research study by Onepoll of 2,000 adults in the UK indicates that half have had enough of the digital life during ongoing lockdowns and are starting to appreciate physical items again. 56 percent believe people are turning to real photos rather than their digital counterparts. Of those, 49 percent think printed photos now have “more value” than digital ones while 46 percent put it down to the nation becoming more sentimental due to the pandemic. And more than a quarter (27 percent) think the novelty of displaying pictures online is wearing off.

Commissioned by Fujifilm instax, the study found 41 percent of respondents believe the prolonged restrictions and lockdowns have further fueled the print revival as people have spent more time sorting out and organizing things, such as their photos. A third think people want more reminders of their “pre-Covid” lives and 37 percent like thinking about the ‘good old days’

It also emerged that six in 10 look back on old photos when they’re feeling unhappy, stressed or are looking for a way to cheer themselves up. And more than four in 10 (43 percent) felt their mood was boosted simply from looking at a physical photo, compared to just 12 percent who said the same about digital images. One in five of the respondents have put up more pictures in frames during 2020 than they did before the pandemic.

Just under one in six have also spent more time putting together old-school photo albums to commemorate happier days. Others want to see a return of physical books instead of e-readers (46 percent), instant cameras over smart phones (21 percent), phone books (12 percent) and tickets for sports or music events rather than the print-at-home or e-ticket options (33 percent). As a result, people are becoming more interested in photobooks.

Psychologist Dr. Emma Hepburn said: “Research suggests that recalling positive personal memories can help elicit positive emotion and engage reward-related neural circuitry, which can be beneficial for wellbeing. “Having these memories in physical form, for example photographs around the house, can help create positive feelings on a daily basis when we see them.

Because of their physical nature, each photograph also has its own history. So, we remember not only the event itself, but create memories and meaning around the physical object. We can feel attached to a photograph, so that the physical act of holding and looking at a photo creates emotions.

Top 5 reasons why physical photos are having a revival in 2020

  • Real photos have more value than digital ones (49 percent)
  • 2020 has meant people want more reminders of their loved ones around them (48 percent)
  • People are becoming more sentimental (46 percent)
  • A fear of losing digital photos if you have a tech issue (37 percent)
  • The nostalgic element of the “good old days” (37 percent)


This blog is based on an article in the Express