Does your print spark joy?
With much of the United States taken up with KonMari fever – the famous decluttering method made famous by tidying expert Marie Kondo – people are ridding themselves of everything that doesn’t spark joy.
The decluttering craze started with Kondo’s bestselling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” and reached an even wider audience with her Netflix show, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” which debuted at the beginning of 2019.
Thrift stores have reported a surge in donations since the release of the show, and the diminutive Japanese virtuoso is quickly becoming a household name.
The KonMari method encourages practitioners to review all their belongings by category, only keeping those items that spark joy. Books and papers make up two of the five categories, but that’s no reason for publishers to fret.
Here are five ways to create products that survive this decluttering craze and spark joy for readers.
Utilizing design best practices like these helps ensure your audience develops a positive perception of your brand. When you’re dealing with a concept as open to interpretation as “sparking joy,” first impressions matter. So make sure your design is something that your audience will like – make sure it’s not dated, overly cluttered, and if you haven’t already, hire a professional designer.
We’ve written about why quality paper is satisfying before, and it still holds true: paper choice makes a statement about your publication. Our brains respond to quality materials, which translates to a product that sparks joy. When deciding whether to keep an item, Kondo encourages people to hold it in their hands while contemplating. What kind of materials do you think are more likely to spark joy?
Marie Kondo doesn’t just advocate for getting rid of stuff. The second part of her tidying method calls for organizing belongings and putting everything in its place. Materials that fit conveniently on shelves or in boxes lend themselves to a tidy home.
If your readers have seen it several times before, it likely doesn’t spark joy anymore. Whatever you’re planning to print should contain content that’s new to your audience. It may take a few brainstorming sessions, but it will set your publication apart from what your audience commonly sees, and provide opportunities to catch their attention and spark joy.
All other tips aside, great content is key to creating materials that won’t be thrown out. The first four tips will get people to hold on to your product in the short term, but if you want to create something people will return to again and again, be certain you’re printing well-written articles and eye-catching photographs that draw people in.
What not to do: switch to digital. This decluttering enthusiasm isn’t limited to homes and offices. The KonMari method is being used to create a happier digital life and scale back on screen-oriented media too, so you can’t simply switch out printed materials for email or eBook and expect people to hang on to them.
What to do: spark joy. You can’t control it for every person, but take time to hold your product in your hands and ask if it sparks joy. It’s a concept without a clear definition, so there aren’t any hard rules to spark joy. But if it sparks joy for you, it’s more likely to spark joy for your audience.