Print Design in Pill Form

Welcome to the internet, where anything that can't be absorbed instantly, isn't worth knowing.

When it comes to print design, I like to stay on top of the scene, to whatever degree that's possible. In the mornings, I check the mainstream media for half-mentions of printing, tucked away in pieces that are largely about politics or media or business.

I go on to browse through my favorite social media sites, then my favorite blogs. And if I'm lucky, somewhere amongst the architecture and the web 2.0 debates, the soliloquies on the beauty of found objects and the mediations on modern contemporary furniture design, I find some awesome little gems about print and print design, and my day is made.

But with all the content out there on the interwebs, it amazes me more and more how I continue to slog through the same old themes. The three that seem to pop up the most are:

  • Numbered lists of Photoshop brushes/tools/tutorials
  • 'Best of' logo design galleries
  • 'Best of' business card design galleries
  • Now, don't get me wrong, I love these design snacks as much as anybody. They're print design fast food, easy to skim through, consume, digest, and move on. The problem, as I see it, is that they are so palatable that they've become a standard tool with which any blog may gain some traffic and notoriety.

    Logo love tops Digg

    So it happens that not only is every second print design post online about one of these subjects, but that they also lack, in my opinion, a certain degree of depth, creativity, and willingness to explore deeper into the world of print design. Details are important, small things like brushes and logos and business cards are important, but their not 90%-of-the-whole-print-design-game important.

    Everybody's buzzing right now about the new sight Logo Design Love, and with good reason. It's a nice site to look at, full of lovely sweet looks at Airline Logo Designs and Car Manufacturer Logo Designs. Personally, I'm hoping that the site will catch on to the point where it becomes the monolithic authority on the subject. Then, we can all get our logo love in one place and hopefully start focusing on other things.

    There's a huge, amazing world of print design out there to explore, but is it, in general, too big and boring for the web? Must we only feast on its smallest, most succulent parts? If this is the case, than I wonder how it will change the future of graphic and print design. Will sites like Design Observer become relics from another era? Will print design become an afterthought once web design has been taken care of?

    We love to speculate on what the web is doing to our language, to our relationships, and to our daily news. What, then, is it doing to the way we think about and create print design? In our effort to attract readers from a glutted market, are we, ultimately, dumbing down the industry?

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    Design 08.02.2008

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