Category: opinion

What’s Your Flavor, Print or Digital?

Posted By
Kaitlyn Wells

What would you do if you didn’t have a business card with you that time you were at the bar and randomly met the CEO of Coca Cola?

Your business card is print.

Some say print will die in the next 5 years, and that digital will completely take over. But why 5 years? I won’t deny that digital is the future, but at this point I think people give it too much credit.

As a designer, I’m a fan of print.

You work long hours, withstand tough critics and refine your butt off, it should count for something, physically. With print, there is a nervous excitement in the back of your mind as you send it off to your print vendor and hope that it will turn out the way you dreamed. And when you finally hold the printed piece in your hand you get a little flutter in your stomach, that makes you want to jump up and down. Some might think – well she’s a young designer, she still gets excited over those things – but no matter how many projects that I have and will send to print, I know I’ll be proud to hold the final product. When I create a design that will be purely digital, sure it’s great and I’m proud of it, but I can’t touch it or feel it. It will probably get filed away on the server and I’ll never look at it again.

As a reader, I’m a fan of print.

Would you want to fall asleep on top of the hard screen of an iPad, Nook or Kindle? A book is just easier to bring to bed with you. I love the smell of a brand new book, the sound of its fluttering pages, and the feeling of the soft paper between your fingers. You don’t have to worry if you accidentally drop it, or if your dog happens to jump on you and completely takes over the very place your book once was. You can write on it, cut it out, and photocopy it. You can bend it, fold it and if you really want, you can even throw it.

But, digital is the future.

Don’t get me wrong, digital is great. I’m a designer after all, I practically live on the computer.  Designing for digital is different than print. You have to design more for user behavior than anything else. Sure you could have a great message, but can the person behind the mouse actually do anything with it? Is it interactive? In some cases, digital becomes less about the story and more about what you can do with it.

You can do more with digital. It can take you to other places, you can sync it to RSS feeds, you can adjust your text size and the typeface it’s displayed in. You can view more vibrant colors than ever before. It can give you more information in less space, and it can even fit in your pocket. You can read digital books and lend them out to your friends. And as a designer, you can create beautiful websites, advertisements, email campaigns and so much more. Every little bit of digital design will in some way reach an abundance of viewers, while print may be more focused on a smaller audience.

Most people can carry the digital world with them anywhere they go, whether it’s a smart phone, a palm, a laptop, an iPad or any other digital tablet. But there are places in the world that still don’t have full access to the digital world. Their internet could be spotty or non-existent, or maybe they can’t afford that new smart phone. Digital may be the future, but not yet.

My flavor happens to be print with a splash of digital. What’s yours?

Is Every Degree A Marketing Degree?

Posted by:
Tate Linden

If college degrees are marketing then Seth’s post (Read his post “Buying an education or buying a brand?” here!) makes sense. But I’d argue that degrees have very little to do with marketing. They give you the right to market, but they don’t do the job for you. Even the most prestigious colleges can only position you so well – when going for the top jobs you’re likely to be up against people who went to the same school (or perhaps a better one) and there’s little your degree will do to make you more attractive.

A degree isn’t marketing or branding. It’s opportunity. (Even if it is squandered by many.)

It’s access. Who is going to give you that foot in the door if you haven’t shown an ability to stick with something optional for any length of time?

The real problem with Seth’s supposition is that we already have smarter and more motivated people available – and mostly without serious debt – and we’re not letting them work in jobs for which they’re often better qualified than those with accreditation.

We have men and women leaving the military after years of honorable service, on-the-job learning and acquired expertise and these people are generally not allowed to compete with those who often spent less time in a purely theoretical environment.  Until we prove that these people can find jobs it doesn’t make a lot of sense to add more non-accredited people to a workplace.

What do you think, Seth?

My New Favorite Website.

Who knew making graphs could be so fun – and reading them so educational?

song chart memes
more graph humor and song chart memes

I’m tempted to start a naming contest for the first two… Poor Bono and horsey…

Girvin Delivers Solid Brand For Iron Man

A short post today – mainly because I’m going to send you elsewhere.

Tim Girvin over at Girvin: D.log has written up a great overview of the work he did for the new Iron Man film.  (He also appears to have done good work and similar descriptions for Beowulf and The Matrix.)

I love the way he’s been able to help the telling of the story even with only the selection of fonts he uses.  To appreciate the power of his work – try to imagine The Matrix titles presented in Times New Roman…  Or Beowulf delivered on a flat white background…

Tim understands that there’s more to telling a story than the story itself.  The setting plays a major role.  And… it’s why ghost stories don’t work so well at noon, but have people cowering over the guttering campfire as the full moon rises.

Tim – if you read this – the next time I’m out in Seattle I’m buying you a beer.  I’ve only known about your work for a few weeks, but I’m already a big fan.   (You’re one of the reasons Stokefire brought on a Font Geek – and a cool one, of course – to help us delve deeper into the potential brand strategy and execution for our clients.)

Any designer that doesn’t know his or her way around fonts is a designer that is working with a major handicap.



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