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PRINT: The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated

on May 23, 2012

end of print?John McWade’s blog post yesterday called “The vanishing master” inspired me to write down some thoughts of my own regarding the state of print graphic design. What follows are my thoughts and comment to Mr. McWade.
Let’s stop the doleful talk and embrace the future. I’ve been telling anyone who will listen for years that ‘print is not going away.’ Yes there will be less print. That’s already happening. There is no question about that. But print is not going to die. Additionally, I don’t think the print graphic design masters will go away.  They’ll be less demand hence less need for the skill in the marketplace. I think print is going to gracefully age into a premium or a specialty communication. Marketers will want to use print to get their client’s target attention. Because there will be less print around it will be special. I think that you will see print heading back to some of the finer, refined, higher end printed design pieces but very limited in distribution and quantity.
There’ll be some book subject matter that just won’t have the same impact digitally.  So in the long term, yes the masters in this universe are shrinking.  But I don’t see it going completely away.  I think you’ll see some kind of interesting resurgent just like you’ve seen with vinyl LPs where people appreciate that there’s something special about it, that there’s something different than the digital way of hearing music or in this case interacting with communications (or is this already happening?).
I personally love books and print. I love the ink on paper so I keep buying books and saving printed samples. I’m sure there are many others like me. I enjoy seeing fine typesetting and pictures printed on paper. There will always be some people like me!
Note: I used the 100 Skulls, Bones, Skeletons & Eyeballs Brushes product in the designing of the book cover for this post.