From the lovely new publication A Brief Message comes a, eh, brief message on the bleak future of print written by Steve Heller. Please go read all two-hundred words, I’ll wait (and you really need to go check out what Khoi and Ms. Danzico have created, it’s simply tres chic).
Now I know I don’t work in the print industry but I am a huge consumer of printed products (newspapers, periodicals and books) and I have a hard time understanding all the hub-bub over whether this medium is dying or not. Maybe if I showed you my yearly budget for acquiring print material you would understand. Still what’s all this hoo-ha about?
Are persons who work with print afraid that one day they’ll come to work and find the doors locked and a sign that reads: “Sorry we’re closed indefinitely because print died in its sleep last night”? Do print designers huddle in corners nervously smoking cigarettes and say things like, “five more issues, maybe, maybe a sixth, and then that’s it, I’m out, because there is no way print can live much longer and I’ll be damned if I’m going down with the ship.”
In his essay Steve makes a point that print is no longer the preferred medium of reaching the most amount of people but that’s nothing new. Print has taken a back seat to television as the primary tool for reaching the masses for decades. So why does this conversation loom as if one day we’ll have print and the next we won’t? It’s as if there is this giant fear that this will all end with thousands of designers homeless, hungry, and roaming the streets, where they will offer to kern type for a spare change or provide color corrections for food.
Call it a hunch but something tells me that’s not gonna happen any time soon. So buck-up little print designer, I seriously doubt your medium will go Dodo in my lifetime or yours. Get back to Quark and keep on keepin’ on, my wallet is at that ready.