The Future of Print?

As more and more companies are concerned with sustainability, is print design seen as being wasteful?  Think of the multitude of direct mail marketing you see in your mailbox every day.  Or maybe you don’t see, you just throw out.  How many trees had to be cut down to send these throw-away fliers to every person in your city, or state, or country?  Couldn’t that same message have been sent to your inbox, or as a banner ad on your favorite website?  If so, think of how many natural resources would have been spared.  Or economically, how much money the company that sent that ad would have saved.

With information constantly being poured to us by our phones, mp3 players, televisions, and computers, is there still a need or want for printed materials?  Newspapers are gaining more and more digital subscribers, billboards can display multiple digitally lit ads where once a single ad appeared.  Yet we still see print every day.  But how long will this last?  According to some experts not long at all.

As a designer, you might think of shifting your focus from matching pantone swatches to matching RGB hex codes.  If you want to stay viable in a changing market, then you need to stay current with technology.  Print will always have a place in the design world.  After all, it’s the basis of our craft.  The lessons of print can be carried over to the digital realm.  The grid system and typography are just a couple of examples.  Now more than ever, the information to learn the principles and future of design are available at our fingertips.  There are a plethora of invaluable web sites out there to get you started, and keep you at the helm of the future of design.

Here are some of my favorite links to help get you started:

Don’t be afraid of the future.  Prepare for it.


  1. Hugh Butler says:

    I think it is precisely because information is “constantly being poured to us by our phones, mp3 players, televisions, and computers” that print media will always hold a distinct share of the market. Direct marketing via print is costly, (primarily because of postage), but it is effective in ways that electronic media has yet to achieve.

    I have written about this at some length here:

    I hope you’ll take a look!

  2. Steve Vorass says:

    All valid points in your article Hugh. Thanks for the link.

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