Paper vs. Pixels

Paper vs. Pixels: Ahhh, the thought that goes through my head so often these days. Almost as often as this strained economy. How can print succeed and flourish in a increasingly web driven world? Don’t worry – the irony of writing these musings on a blog does not elude me.

In my snail-mailbox at work today, a colleague stuck a printed out NY Times article, photo-copied and distributed to the entire office. On paper! I don’t know if this has ever happened in my career. If it has I don’t remember the last time. Usually you would just get an email with a link! My thought was first to all of the paper (trees) that was used to distribute this ‘memo’ before I eagerly sat down to devour it. Then I realized, “When was the last time I devoured a email link?” I may read them, skim them more likely. But – something about the page, the paper, the smell of the ink, made reading this seem so much more important.

And then came a little clarity for me, there is a time and place for print. It may just last a little longer after all. Maybe we can live in a world where print and pixels can live together.

If you care to read this op-ed article digitally (about the closing of the magazine Gourmet), and you should as it is very interesting – click on the NY Times logo: (although I am guessing that even if you follow this link, you will only skim it. Maybe try printing it out for a change. See if your experience is different, too.)

4 thoughts on “Paper vs. Pixels

  1. there is nothing quite like snapping a photo or designing an image and seeing it printed in all of its glory. we just got some posters given to us for a show coming up (these were supposed to be for street promo,) and they look so great we’re having a hard time parting with them 🙂 long live print!

    p.s. i’d love to see some of your designs (old/new) printed 🙂

  2. Indeed! I love the look and feel a perfectly designed piece of letter-pressed stationery. Ask any of my friends – I am an evite fanatic, but a paper invite mailed to my house – there some magic in that. Long live print!

    I would love to see your posters!!! Can you mail one to me so I can feel it, please? 😉

    Sadly, the small amount of design that I do these days is mostly digital.

    Thanks for being my first comment! I love you, girl! – Kelly

  3. Humans are tactile. I agree print will always have a place but as we become more and more digitally integrated we may find that it becomes more of an elitist option,a luxury to own something in print. Like with movies. Anyone who can hold a digital camera can now put out a movie as evidenced by the influx of garbage at the DVD rental places and the “selections” offered up through netflix but feature length high quality production films can only be made by those with the financing,resources & know how(too bad they are still trying to cater to the masses).

    As time goes on and we rely more heavily on technology for distribution. I think the higher quality stuff will move to print and will increase in value. As it is I only seek out specialty publications in print that contain information that simply is not available online or in mass. Usually obscure fringe publications that are a mix of quality resources & inspiring content…a rarity today.

  4. Yes, I agree that only the strong will survive – but that doesn’t always mean quality sadly. Even most of those high budget films are crap.

    But – as my father likes to say – when being chased by a bear, you don’t have to be faster than the bear, you just have to be faster than the other guy that’s also running from the bear. SO – the print industry will shrink, and to survive, any print product will need to be faster and smarter than the other guy.

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