Despite what they say, print is not dead.
Print design is well and truly alive, and while it may have taken a downturn in recent years, it’s not going away any time soon. It is an accessible, low-cost medium that is still very effective. By recommending paper stock made from recycled content, post-consumer waste or sustainable forests, we can print flyers, brochures, business cards, booklets, magazines, annual reports and publications and still sleep at night!
Print design is anything designed to be printed on to a physical surface (as opposed to digital design). Designs are printed on to paper more often than not, and include formats such as: brochures, flyers, publications, business cards, with comps slips, envelopes, letterheads, magazines, newspapers, posters, annual reports, books, booklets, invitations and display folders.
For hundreds of years, printing was created using wood blocks and other handmade stamping tools with ink or paint. As time went on, mechanical processes such as letterpress and lithography were developed to allow for mass production of printed material. Although faster, these processes were still slow and time consuming. They do have a charm and aesthetic of their own though, and letterpress is still used today for items that need an extra special touch (such as wedding invitations). Technology in the print industry has come a long way since then, and these days most material is printed either digitally or offset. Digital printing is cheap and fast for short runs, whereas offset printing can be more cost effective for large print runs.
Although print design has been affected by the rise of digital design, there is still no shortage of the need for printed items. Rather than being replaced by websites and social media accounts, print design now accompanies these things as promotional tools. There is nothing like holding something tangible (such as a book or magazine) in your hand, and physically turning each page as you read. Studies show that reading on paper is both more efficient and pleasurable than on screen. Print is here to stay!
Apart from the tactile nature of print design, environmental responsibility also makes stock selection a key consideration. When specifying stock (or paper, in layman’s terms), we consider how it was manufactured, such as whether it is made from recycled content and/or post-consumer waste, responsibly sourced trees and whether it is FSC certified.
We love designing for print. There’s nothing like getting stuck into a 200 page publication and setting up master pages, paragraph styles, character styles and tables of contents. What? Do you think we need to get out more? Maybe we do. But even then, we won’t let a restaurant menu or festival guide go by without a good squiz!