Recently I was talking with someone who was of the mindset that print is not just an essential media but will always be required. His reasoning wasn’t knew, it was based on people liking something to hold in their hands, and when I asked about his experience with devices such as the Kindle, Sony E-Reader or the iPad he admitted to not looking into them nor was he interested in these devices. His opinions on news-related topics when it comes to the Web were in a similar vein, as he felt that there is nothing that will replace print media yet because there is no one singular technology that has encompassed all of the things he likes…
I chuckle inside.
He’s right in that no one form of online media has replaced print, but that’s not really how the internet and online technology work. We have news sites which distribute up to the minute news; we have blogs that spout out everything from opinions on facts to celebrity gossip to fabricated stories. We have social media sites which connect individuals to these stories, and we can do all this from our mobile devices. At this point email seems to be an old hat tech. The only real piece to hold back online information from print is the typography and design aspects associated with migrating printed material to the web, assuming you’re not counting PDF or flash readers.
Of course online text hasn’t always been as easy to manipulate as printed text, ask anyone who has worked as a designer with your major Adobe suite tools like Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and tried to convert the text to a readable, non-image format. It’s a significant challenge at worst and an inconvenience at best. But today I see our savior has released their Font Preview web typography tool, which allows designers to easily, from a visual perspective, adjust the kerning, tracking and shadowing of their fonts as if they were adjusting it in any other print tool. Granted the terminology is different, as Google prefers to refer to tracking and kerning as letter, word and line spacing – but it’s a small price to pay to create great looking online text on the fly.
So I hate to call out the white elephant in the room, but, Print…uh…you’re still here?