publications surround us wherever we are, whatever we do.
newsagents - magazines/newspapers in multiple languages - battle for visual supremacy
bookstores - every topic compete for attention
mail - find everything from catalogs to corporate literature
"In todays society, communication is all important and the power of print has never been stronger"
designing for print isn't easy
consumers bombared with so much printed matter it merges into one and no one can win the competition for attention.
new magazine (types) hit the shelves - soon will be competing with a dozen more of the same as they catch on and are replicated. Id a newspaper changes format, the rest will follow.
coming up with a new concept isn't enough anymore, it will just be replicated and become the same as the rest.
publication designers must work harder then ever to captivate and connect with readers - aesthetic and emotionally.
many types and categories - appeal to different audiences - consumer to corporate to trade.
people see magazines / newspapers / books as the only published material. But there are also the likes of annual reports, product catalogs, newsletters, journals.
" Just as important as they type of publication being created is its target audience"
publications etc has aspirational element to them:
- vogue - not afford the clothes but can buy into the lifestyle via the magazine.
- subscribing to specialist magazines enables us to connect with like-minded people.
- books create a powerful response, transport to another time / space through power of words.
"Part of the appeal of a publication is what it feels like to hold"
Designers are limited due to the size, shape and cost. Wide scope for creativity even with constraints.
Format, grids, typography, colour, cover / masthead, use of imagery.
" A good design should never over ride the content and vice versa; rather the two should work together to support and bring out the best in each other"
Power of Print - A Brief History
15th century - fewer than 50,000 volumes of writing existed.
written word was hand inscribed on vellum - reserved for the wealthy.
Vellum more durable but expensive and time consuming to produce. 200 page book - 4-5 months to create.
Art of paper making introduced to Europe from China first known paper mill in Europe 1282. Fabriano, Italy.
Paper was quick and inexpensive to make. In 14th Century, millions of sheets of paper a year were produced.
Late 1300's - books created from wood carvings containing image and text appeared. Process was long as had to create new wood blocks each time.
Movable type & Gutenberg press (1468). Created thousands of durable, reusable letters. Rapid printing of written material. Information explosion in Renaissance Europe.
Printing presses opening all over Europe due to movable type. Publishing became an industry in its own right.
It was possible for information to be stored and shared. Languages were standardised and publications were made for masses.
Broadside - popular early publication -
A single sheet of paper printed on one side - used to spread religious information.
Later used to spread regional information - precursor to newspaper
Broadsides handed out, fixed to walls and lamposts - provided public with precise views of everyday life.
Industrial revolution created major development, 19th century - mechanisation of printing process.
"An economy once started based on manual labour now became dominated by industry and the manufacture of machinery"
1820 - first product catalogue and poetry journals being produced. This created better wages and standard of living.
Early 19th Century :
- photography had arrived
- brought new dimension to the printed page
- publications with photography to illustrate was part of everyday life.
Print in the digital age
Surrounded by more publications than ever before but not long ago thought of printed publications was numbered.
Common belief that digital age would surrpress print into realms of nostalgia.
"If anything the print medium has become even stronger as a result of the digital revolution"
online publications - cheaper, faster, easier to produce.
- Looking at a screen isn't comparable to touch and feel of a book / magazine. Experiential level has no competition.
Images not as sharp on screen as printed. No variation of depth through paper stocks.
"Printed publications have an authenticity to them that surpasses their digital counterparts"
Anyone can publish information online, printed publications regarded as much more reliable source of information.
Technological advances may change this in future but for now the power of print is still strong.
The content of publication should determine to overall design, feel and type of publication it will be, not the other way round. Content is king.
Readability vs Legibility
individual letter may be legible but when grouped it could disappear.
- context is key
- how publication will be read
- by who
- what conditions to be read under.
CRUCIAL TO SUCCESS OF DESIGN
- role of type
- what function it has
- only to be read?
- illustrative element?
"Challenging readers to leave their comfort zone when reading a publication is central to the readability / legibility debate, but the appropriateness of stylistic or trend-led design and whether it is acceptable lies in the hand of the reader"
The publication life span
publication life span - affect way its designed
magazine with month shelf life - follow latest trends, book with years of shelf life has to stand the test of time.
Book design demands high standard of craftsmanship in designer. All about permanence - no room for error.
Magazines exist in forefront of pop culture. Not just a integral part of visual culture but a reflection of our time.
Magazine design that lasts a year or two before looks out of date - pushing the boundaries of design.
The Digital Revolution
technology has been biggest change in the last 20 years, this has helped rather than hindered.
advent of home computer and the internet have enabled more people to create their own publications
Many designers now self-publish as means of raising their profits:-
- now easy because the process has been computerised
- before would have to lay everything out manually and strip content by hand - time consuming.
Death of print world within 21st century as advances would make a paperless society - making the publication obsolete.
Technology not failed us - provided us with a diverse range of tools which to produce ever more flexible and cost effective creative solutions.
evolution of WWW means predictions of death of print:
- people thought web would be a way to transfer information between companies etc. But not that e asy to transfer pages onto a screen.
- Web is an unknown medium and comes with own set of constraints.
Whereas print industry is known quantity and it works.
Desinging a book / magazine / brochure / annual report in print allows designers to translate a message through the us of different paper stock, typography and imagery to create a tactile and expressive product.
Improved technology means designer have complete control over the content -
- the ability to integrate text and image, quotesm charts etc is up to them through the click of a mouse.
Technology means experimenting with colour, image and text is easy and can be undone with no manual process involved.
- easier to create a design to engage the audience.
Internet provides -
- info at fingertips, ability to transfer files digitally but has made the world a smaller place.
- can download content from other side of world, drop into the document, lay out the work, package and email back to the client without even seeing them face to face.
Digital photography -
- easier to capture and store images - saving time and money
- no more expensive film and paying for development
- use and reused over and over again
Publication design -
- indesign better than quark
- integrated approach as shares interface with photoshop and illustrator
- interchange object and images between these programs - quicker work flow.
"Our twenty first century digital world is a wonderful thing, but technology is not infallible. Things can go wrong, so it is imperative for designers to back up regularly."
Buying & Selling
- positioned same way in every store - to fit more in
- only magazine masthead visible on shelf - rely solely on masthead to sell product
- standard size (a4) - practicalities - fit into shelves
- larger sizes fit sideways on shelves - masthead hidden, only spine on show - type comes into play to sell product
- online spine on show in stores
- limited space to design
- logo and title of book displayed - clear and easy to read to attract readers
- strong publisher logo - brand awareness - more on shelf
- strong type / bold colours used on spine - impressive and eye catching
Printing= dirty process
- now recycled papers and environmentally friendly printing techniques. - designers / clients need educating on these processes.
Print is UKs 5th largest manufacturing industry but is placed n same environmental risk category as mining oil and nuclear industries.
- chlorine bleached papers still common
- prevalence of non recycling or non sustainable forestry pulp is high.
Beacon Press -
- first british print company to establish green policy
- vegetable based inks, alcohol free printing process and 100% green electricity
- recycles 95% of hazardous, press cleaning solutions
- CD recycling
misconceptions - environmental print lower quality - expensive.
colour saturation improved - little visible difference between eco and non eco
mohawk fine papers - leading environmental paper merchant
"By specifying certified paper containing a high level of post consumer waste, made with renewable energy designers, printers and their clients have the power to generate a new market that the rest of the world will have to follow - and then we can really start to make a difference".