January 22, 2013

My wish for print design

Trips to the printer for press checks have been replaced with PDF proofs and digital copies.

Trips to the printer for press checks have been replaced with PDF proofs and digital copies.

My wish for print design is for it to stick around for years and years to come. In my short seven years out of college, the print design world has changed dramatically. I long for the days when I used expensive papers, die-cuts and special printing techniques on every project. I miss trips to the printer for press checks, for they have been replaced with PDF proofs and digital copies. I fear that designers fresh out of school won’t ever experience the parts of my job that I have loved so.

The feel of a beautifully printed annual report with varnishes and spot colors on a gorgeous uncoated sheet can never be replaced by an online flipbook of that same annual report.

Thankfully, printers and paper manufacturers are trying to save print from dying by giving us increased quality digital printing and all that goes with it. The cost is lower and the production time is shorter than with offset printing, which relieves many clients’ woes. And the paper manufacturers are providing designers with guides like the Finch Digital Field Guide to help us set up our files better for the digital platform. (And yes, there is a printed form of this book available in addition to the online flipbook.)

However, try as they might to successfully replace offset printing with digital printing, my love for the smell of a freshly printed offset piece in the morning will never go away. And never will reading on an iPad or Kindle, be the same as holding a bound book in my hands.

Keep print alive!

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