I hate to admit that the heyday of print in this generation—the 90s with the Desktop Publishing Revolution, Quark XPress 3, PostScript fonts, and PDFs—is a savory memory of the past. I look back with a smile on my face and remember packing up files on a Zip disk and heading to Kinko’s or the local offset printer to get stationery printed.
Websites, consultations, writing, and photography make up the lion’s share of my creative work these days. It seems that everything is destined for the web. Documents are converted to PDF for online download. Layouts are made responsive (they used to be called liquid layouts). Hi-res DSLR photos are downsampled and converted to lossy JPGs. 300 DPI pages printed with 150 line screens are ignored in favor of presenting everything “above the fold” of a web page.
The tactile pleasure of holding a finished, printed piece in my hand doesn’t come as often as it used to. The last time I worked with any regularity on print projects was…hmm…several years ago. The projects slip my memory: they might have been tri-fold brochures or promotional fliers. I’m sure I enjoyed the projects, I just don’t remember what they were.
I’ll be able to revisit the joy of holding freshly printed pages next week, though. I’m picking up 250 perfect bound paperbacks from the printer on Monday.
Yes, a print project. A client from 2005 contacted me recently and asked me to make a few revisions to a book that I designed and typeset for him so I jumped at the opportunity. Several rounds of texts, emails, and phone discussions later and I was ready to upload PDFs to a local printer and we managed the print job online. The client has two other book projects in the works that he wants me to work on for him.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that I both missed doing book work and that print isn’t dead. It’s just dying. Slowly…