Print Is Not Dead!

The last blog I wrote was on “The Death of the Paper Business Card“. After it was published I received a lot of flak from some of my friends (who happen to be graphic designers) for even admitting that the death of print is possible, and for predicting that digi-cards will replace paper business cards in 10 years. Well, due to that post, I’ve been temporarily shunned from the graphic design world. I’ve recently discovered that I’ve also been blacklisted from designer blogs, message boards and social media sites. Therefore, with this blog entry, I will try and redeem myself and win back a place in the print community.

Anybody that really knows me, knows that I love things of old – so naturally I love print. For criminy’s sake my art concentration in college (back in 1999) was Printmaking! That’s right, the ancient art of Lithography, Monotyping, Etching, Woodcuts, Linocuts, and Screen-Printing. If that doesn’t say “I love print”, what does?

Now, I’m not saying that print is old and out of date, but new technology is the source of its aches and pains. Printing has been around since the 4th century, so I guess it’s an old-timer and might need some Bengay here and there, not to mention it might need its bunions rubbed. Make no mistake, though, PRINT IS NOT DEAD, nor will it ever be as long as we have creative people on this planet.

Yes, print is being replaced in certain areas, but we will always need and want the printed word or visual. I don’t know if this is a generation thing, but when I read a newspaper or magazine, there is comfort in feeling the paper between my fingers. Reading my favorite magazine online is definitely not the same (and much more boring). Not to mention I like to relax in my favorite chair by the fire with a hot cup of joe and read the paper or sit on my white porcelain throne and thumb through my favorite magazine (oh, come on, you do it too. Okay, well at least the males reading this will understand). I guess you can do all that with a hot laptop computer on your legs too, but it’s not the same.

So the numbers may show that journalistic print may be suffering due to the convenience of the digital age, but print is far from dead. Actually, I see a print revival on the horizon, if it hasn’t already begun (here I go predicting things again). Sure, call me a print prophet if you like, but one thing I’ve noticed in the design world is that when one thing becomes obsolete or un-cool, it either comes back around in 10-20 years, creative minds push the limits therefore making something old seem new, or we figure out a replacement. Take a look at a few of my favorite answers to printer’s prayers.

1. When album artwork took a huge fall thanks to MP3’s, the gig/concert posters rose to the challenge!

2. When everything began to look mass produced with no space for individuality, creative minds began to create their own…things? Etsy.com

3. With the digi-card knocking on the business card’s door, graphic designers decided to take things to the next level. Crazy cool business cards.