Our lives have become more and more digital where much of our day is experienced through some sort of digital device which has replaced the more traditionally valued craft of print. Even though print is tactile and physical, digital better represents the natural world and print represents the human process.
How can that be? Humans developed both technologies and I’ve never seen a bobcat using a laptop, but here’s why: Print is static, constant and is seen the same by anybody who picks up the final piece. The colors match from piece to piece, the dimensions don’t change and the substrate is constant. This is how humans see their world, we try to build objects that last forever with minimal maintenance. Our cars, homes and cities are built to be permanent. We’re bummed when we have to paint the house, a road gets a pothole or our car car starts to rust. Conversely, the rest of nature is ever-changing. Animals build temporary shelters or do constant maintenance, they adapt as necessary and never complain about traffic.
Our digital lives reflect this constant change and update to keep up with a changing world as well as with every possible device that will display the project. Different monitors, browsers, lighting, settings, and mobile devices are just a few of things that need to be thought about during design. Digital brands understand this. Facebook, twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest all change their content every second of every day. Sites regularly update the UI to become better or just more current, Apps constantly update to be sure they work on the latest software version and to fix glitches.
All while print continues to chug away at what it does best, be predictable in its output. There is a place for both in our lives and I for one hope that print never dies, but how can we use print to better offset the daily deluge of emails, updates, and posts that have become more and more part of our lives?