Paper Toss

I consider myself lucky that I have some modest respect from among my peers in the design industry, and I also consider myself fortunate that many of these designers like to keep me abreast of their recent works and new projects. As a result, I get a fair amount of posters, pamphlets, books, magazines and assorted other promotional stuff, usually mailed to me but occasionally pressed upon me in person, too.

Many of these items are very creative and quite stunning, and I’m often impressed by the time, labor and expense that goes into them. But I also find them somewhat bewildering and, if I’m honest, burdensome.


From the Printing Press to My Garbage Can

I’ll spend a second or two looking at a lot of these items, but for the most part I really don’t know what to do with them and would rather be rid of them. Most I’ll simply toss right into the trash because there’s nowhere for me to file them away, and even if there was, I’d probably never look at them again anyway. The ones that are particularly elaborate or impressive I’ll keep around for a bit — maybe a few days or a few months — but I usually just stack them up in a pile with assorted other items that are low on my attention meter, until such time as I feel less guilty about tossing them out.

Sending items through the postal service might seem like a great way to grab someone’s attention and to sidestep the huge volume of competing signals online, but to me it feels more like an expensive and elaborate method of getting something from a printing press into my garbage can. In spite of the sheer magnitude and noise of online promotions, I’m much more likely to pay attention to things that I’ve seen on the Web. Similarly, I’m far more likely to blog about things I’ve found on the Internet than I would about things handed to me physically.

A lot of designers are devoted to the notion of actual objects and their superiority over digital transmissions, but in truth, a lot of the collateral that designers produce in print is pure ephemera, suitable only for the most fleeting attention. By contrast, digital content has so much more life and longevity and is so dramatically cheaper relative to its potential reach, I can’t understand why any designers bother to print things up and send them out anymore.

Also, I can’t believe it’s 2011 and I still had to write this post.

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37 Comments

  1. Agree.

    In my own work, I’m moving away from even showing clients printed comps in favor of showing them comps on the web. My justification is that the printed comp is a placebo of sorts; it doesn’t accurately represent the final product.

    One trick that always gets them on my side is to bring in a magazine with a car ad. I ask the client if they’d buy the car based off the ad. They will usually say something along the lines of “No, I’d need to test drive it first.” I then draw a parallel to the task at hand. How a digital product feels is just as important as how it looks.

  2. I agree with you, digital is superior in many ways. However, if done really well, print can be just as engaging and even more intimate. To your point, this typically costs significantly more than its digital counterpart.

    I try to avoid blanket statements like, “I can’t understand why any designers bother to print things up and send them out anymore.” There is a time and a place, it just requires more from the idea and execution. It would be a great loss to no longer print things, or design for that medium.

  3. This reads like something a dude who’s worked in web and interactive design for the past decade might write.

  4. Brad: You might be inferring too much from what I wrote. I didn’t mean to imply that we should no longer print things or design for print. Print is great for many things; to me, promoting designers’ projects isn’t one of them.

  5. I’m guilty as charged when it comes to sending out printed promotional material. Indeed, you were one of the people I gave work to after your Creative Mornings talk, and I hope you at least recycled my notecard set instead of throwing it out. ;-)

    However, I will say I had some success with my snail mail self-promotion campaign. Out of the more than 70 card sets I mailed to designers asking for a 15 minute portfolio review, I received only 6 responses (and only 1 actual review). But it was the response from none other than Massimo Vignelli that truly stunned me. I had sent him a card set and received an email from him personally with his studio’s direct number. A week later he graciously gave me an hour of his precious time to review my work.

    I definitely have thought about how to show my work as my career continues, but from my experience sending printed work can get attention at times.

  6. Oh the burden of fame. Talk about coming across like an elitist prig. You prefer the crass, high volume commercial crap that we see all around us to the under-the-radar, personal and unique work of your admirers (some of which you admit is stunning)?

    Also, I can’t believe its 2011 and you aren’t recycling.

  7. I wonder what the actual – dare I say – ROI is of the print campaigns you are referring to. I share your sentiments and found myself asking similar questions when I received AIGA’s recent print promotion for One Day for Design in the mail. Counterintuitive, I thought, to promote a Twitter-powered conversation in print – especially since the entire initiative seemed to be focused around convincing people that AIGA is relevant beyond print in the digital space. But did it work, I guess, is the question.

    This also conjures up thoughts about how I feel against direct mail in general, but it must still be worth the investment, right? As is dreaded email spam and banner ads and the like. While these are all similar annoyances to me – ones I can’t imagine being useful since I rarely, if ever, pay any mind to them, they of course still work in economies of scale at very least. And for that to work, you’re talking big dollars for media buys or large print runs. Obviously not feasible for the individual.

    Which brings me back to the point that I think you are making, that if you want to connect with fewer people (or can only afford to) in a more personal way, then print may be a waste of time, money and opportunity.

  8. I get tons of email promos each day from photographers, illustrators, agents, design firms, plus dozens of pure spam messages each day. It all goes directly into the trash, sight unseen. It’s hard enough keeping up with colleagues’ email, let alone the endless marketing spam and potentially dangerous attachments or links.

    The only promos I ever look at are actual mailed cards. I doubt I’m alone here.

  9. I’m an interaction designer so my end product (and most work products) are purely bits. But I belong to the AIGA and I seem to receive some elaborate piece of material from them weekly that goes straight to the recycle bin, normally simply to alert me to some event.

    My issue is with the waste this generates. The product waste and waste of energy in production, the waste of energy in transport, the unnecessary waste of natural resources.

    In my mind designers are stewards of responsible environmental leadership. Where is that ethic in the AIGA (not to single them out, but I receive more from them than anyone else)?

  10. Andrew: I would agree, AIGA is actually one of the more notorious offenders in this regard. I hesitate to call them out on it because I’m friendly with them and they’re good people, by and large. But I don’t think it’s unfair to say that they’re more attached to printed mail promos than they should be. From my experience, local chapters spend far more on postage than is healthy for the small orgs that they are.

  11. Khoi: I totally understand this, and I know that you weren’t referring to the twice-weekly stalker photos of yourself that I send pasted to cardstock with warm greetings spelled out in letters cut from my latest issue of Guns and Ammo.

    Though I *was* hoping I would see them up on your fridge… =P

  12. Khoi,

    I hear you. I generally assume that anything delivered to me by an address I don’t know is destined for the recycle bin. I feel wasteful when I toss out that kind of thing, but what else can I do? The same thing goes for business cards, by the way.

    I really wish that more designers and design outfits would put more time and emphasis on their digital capabilities. There’s a magazine, for example, that you have written regularly for (and that now I am writing for) that has numerous broken links on their homepage. I remember how my friend Able (you know him, I think – @ableparris) and I used to actually make trips to the Providence Public Library while we were in school to read through back issues of that magazine and were in awe of it–the content, the design, etc. I have no memories of the website then, but I imagine that had I viewed it, I would have been much more forgiving than I can legitimately be today. Anyhow, I think they’re great with paper-focused design, but have really fallen short with digital. The sad part is that it doesn’t have to be that way… As you said, “I can’t believe it’s 2011″ and a design magazine can have such a disappointing web presence.

    Mourning with you,

    Chris

  13. Good post.

    Personally, I receive tons of email solicitations from designers, illustrators and photographers. I rarely open any of them and they go directly to trash. Who’s got that kind of time? I still get a small amount of printed promos in the mail. A trickle compared to, say, ten years ago. Most go into the bin, but I look at every single one.

    I know AIGA/NY has eliminated nearly all (if not all) printed promotions. Not sure about AIGA National.

  14. The flip side of this (to me) is that I still remember the day years ago at a web/print business in the Middle West that we got a big stack of Mr. French paper samples, with some of the most incredible fake ads on them. I had no idea what I was looking at beyond it being 1) awesome, 2) colorful, & 3) physical.

    The web (where I still spend my working hours) never could give me #3, which is why I absconded with those samples, matted & framed them, and finally had something interesting on my walls.

    As a 100% web based content developer/programmer/whatever, there’s something incredibly magic about paper.

    Khoi: maybe you should offer the interesting items that show up on your doorstep for sale. Maybe an auction, maybe through etsy, and maybe donate the proceeds to something worthwhile. People dig quirky stuff with an interesting story.

    Naturally you’ve got plenty of free time to build this (I know a great wordpress template you can use!). Send me some cool promotional mailers when you get it all done. I’ll be waiting breathlessly by the mailbox, garbage can in hand.

  15. Well, it’s fair to ask people to stop soliciting you…it’s certainly annoying when it’s not wanted or useful. I hate telemarketers even if they are calling for the most noble cause. I subscribe to what I value online and delete unsolicited contacts. But I don’t really take your point in the tired print versus online debate. It’s really more a deficit of content that makes one not want to keep things, and how much can you really keep someone digital? I bought your book, and if someone mailed it to me I would probably keep it, for a while.

    I’ve been a professional in online design for many years and one of the frustrating and ultimately discouraging things is that none of it lasts (unless I’m looking after it myself). My best designs look dated after a few years, or they are “redesigned” on a whim, or they are broken and embarrassing due to poor maintenance by someone else.

    I’d like to work in a cultural industry that produces something valuable and worth keeping. I know that design has that potential and has often realized it in print. I’m not sure online design is that, it’s part of a flux and continuum that defines its worth by its potential and what it will do next.

  16. A conundrum to be sure.

    How does one promote themselves? Online? That seems to be a closed loop of interest. People tend to seek out things in their sphere of concern, there is a small amount of digital sources, websites, apps that people regularly visit. Email promotions? straight to the trash bin. Postcards, mailers, posters? Straight to the recycling bin. Print advertising? Workbook? Blackbook? A waste of time and money.

    Dumping physical mailers out almost immediately is nothing new. Art directors and designers have been trashing mail promotions forever, before the internet was a gleam in the eye of Tim Berners-Lee. Getting a 3% return on mailers is just as good today as it was in 1947. Whether that be through the postal service or through your email inbox. Like everyone today, I have a mix of platforms for people to find my work. Print is just one of those platforms. I print on recycled paper, in small quantities, and try to target mailings to people that I think may be interested. I used to send out 10-12 mailers a year, now I may send out 2-4. I’m trying to do my part to reduce my carbon footprint, but while I’m typing this there is a server farm somewhere burning up and in need of a cool down.

    Designers just seem holier than thou today regarding their concern for the environment. While I believe that this is a true concern, I suspect that it is also a convenient excuse for being annoyed that anyone would dare to darken your desk with something you consider a waste of your time.

    Like I said a conundrum with no easy answers.

  17. As an advocate of printed materials, whether it’s by designers for designers or by designers for clients, I feel like there is a point being missed here or at least misunderstood.

    > Similarly, I’m far more likely to blog about things I’ve found on the Internet than I would about things handed to me physically.

    Designers don’t send out printed promos to get blogged. If they wanted to get blogged they would send an e-mail or Tweet that directs you to a specific page that highlights whatever they want blogged (which may very well be a printed project).

    Designers send out printed promos to get your attention OUTSIDE of the internet. They want you to look at the piece of work as an actual physical specimen that demands a different kind of interaction than a webby thing. Whether you toss it or not is not the point, just as it’s not the point whether you ignore an e-mail or Tweet or not. It’s about saying “Stop, look at this. Got it? Okay, carry on.”

    There is nothing wrong with throwing things away (or recycling them). You don’t record every single TV show you watch. You don’t save the leftover of every single meal you’ve eaten. Some things are meant to be enjoyed and appreciated in an ephemeral, fleeting — as you describe print — manner. You can consider it “waste” but so is the time and energy spent on a TV show (probably a thousand times the cost of a silkscreen poster that someone got joy out of making).

    > Most I’ll simply toss right into the trash because there’s nowhere for me to file them away, and even if there was, I’d probably never look at them again anyway.

    I bet you have dozens of design books on your bookshelf that you haven’t seen in years. I know I do. I have them because they give me a weird sense of joy in knowing that I have them in my collection and accessible at any moment. Which is the same reason I, personally, hoard designers’ promotions and things. I have a bookcase filled with them and there is stuff I haven’t looked at in more than ten years. But every now and then I want to remember what a piece looked like either for reference or just for pleasure and I know that it’s there, not in some landfill.

    To conclude: Designers, please don’t stop making things or refrain from sending them out. Those things play an important role in the way we consume design material. If everything becomes JPGs, GIFs, and PNGs served on a browser then we are screwed — anyone can create things that look good on the screen, it takes real mettle, vision, and investment to produce something that has physicality and presence. Even if it’s fleeting. For that one moment you have the ability to evoke a response from someone, and that’s not worth tossing out.

  18. Armin: Nicely put. I’d expect nothing less from you than a smart and constructive counter-argument such as this.

    I have a few quibbles, though. I do think that a lot of what gets sent to me is for blogging purposes. Even so, I grant that I made it seem like blogging was the only possible outcome of these mail items.

    I also think there’s a huge difference between the books I’ve chosen for my bookshelf and the ones that are sent to me. The former were conscious selections. The latter are, for the most part, unwelcome solicitations.

    Also, while I didn’t mention the ecological part of this issue in my original post, I feel like if I can stop a few designers from printing new promos — or even stop people from sending them to me — that’s a net win for the environment.

  19. Khoi,

    I appreciate the work that you do, I’ve read your book and I think you’ve made some great contributions to digital design. Having said that, your success didn’t happen overnight. The designers that are sending you these promotional pieces look up to you, so the least you can do is appreciate them back. You can trash them all you want, I assure you nobody will know the difference, but calling it a waste of time seems harsh and shows that you don’t value what they have to offer.

    Armin, I’m glad you responded. You are a brilliant designer and I feel much better knowing that you still appreciate the time and effort, and more importantly the thought that goes into making things.

  20. Farin: I take issue with the idea that I’m obliged to appreciate the efforts that people make regardless of whether I think the effort is sound. On the contrary, if I think people are wasting their time, I feel duty bound to let them know, with the hope that they can funnel their energies elsewhere.

    If they disagree with what I’m saying, if they feel it’s in their interest to print and mail their promotions, that’s obviously their prerogative. I’m only stating my opinion here.

    Also, there’s no need to remind me that my success didn’t happen overnight. I keep that in mind every day, and I try to demonstrate it by helping others out. Among the ways that I try to do this: I correspond frequently with young designers via email, I give plenty of interviews to individuals, studios and students alike, I’ve counseled MFA candidates on their thesis projects, I’ve given tours of my workspaces to young designers, and I’ve given lectures to many design classes.

    What I’m saying here is that while I have no appreciation for the printed and mailed promos of young designers, I nevertheless feel strongly that I do appreciate the work of young and/or lesser-known designers, and that I do my part to help many of the people who ask. So I don’t need to be lectured by you on whether I value what they have to offer.

  21. “I can’t understand why any designers bother to print things up and send them out anymore.

    Also, I can’t believe it’s 2011 and I still had to write this post.”

    Is one of the stranger things I’ve read today. Perhaps physical mailings / deliveries may not be very effective in getting you in particular to review or blog about them, but when dealing with actual clients and leads, physical mailings often have a greater ROI than web efforts.

    Really all I’m saying is that your personal distaste for unsolicited mail is hardly reason to call for a referendum on print media as a whole

  22. I can’t remember the details, but I recall reading or hearing you tell a story about contacting one of your design heroes by phone, and the impression it made on you when he took the time to speak with you. With the utmost respect for your work and writing, which I consider to be amongst the most thoughtful on the web, your post implies that you’ve lost touch with your own memory of these types of professional interactions and the effect it can have on an impressionable, talented person at any age or point in their career.

    The format is irrelevant, because, at the risk of sounding trite, it’s the thought that counts. Especially today and in this particular industry in which seemingly everyone is cynical about email, the phone, meetings, even social media — cynical about pretty much anything distracting us from our own precious, unimpeachable process – it’s hard to know how to be thoughtful or get anyone to give a damn about anything.

    We’ve forgone more personal touch points in favor of scalable brevity, which often has the effect of driving us a little bonkers. So when someone steps out on a limb and picks up a pen, in whatever fashion, it deserves the benefit of the doubt, at least, and the utmost appreciation, at best.

    After a decade or so spent bettering my own craft while admiring yours, I recently sent you a letter myself. And despite the tone of this comment, I’m not particularly offended at the thought of you tossing it along with the pile. If you did so based on the merits of what I wrote, or the product I was sharing with you, or even just due to being overwhelmed with a particularly heavy load of mail, well, that’s your prerogative, just as it’s mine to delete swaths of emails by the dozen or fail utterly at responding to voicemails from friends. But your broad stroke here, with no apparent consideration of relevance or thoughtfulness from one piece of mail to the next, is disappointing.

    With the volume of relationships and interactions we juggle, trivial or not, we all have our own beefs, so you’ve got every right to yours. You might just want to consider removing your physical address from your own site, so others like me don’t waste their time.

  23. > I also think there’s a huge difference between the books I’ve chosen for my bookshelf and the ones that are sent to me. The former were conscious selections. The latter are, for the most part, unwelcome solicitations.

    Yes, true that. Good point.

    I guess, to me, all these unsolicited mailings are like mini nerdy Christmas mornings.

  24. Nathan: I’m sorry you regard what I’ve written here as evidence that I’ve “lost touch”. I really disagree and stated my reasons why in my comment above (number 23). If you read it, I hope you would reconsider your conclusion.

    I also think it’s so curious that people are assuming that I’m throwing out promos from designers who are less well known than myself. I didn’t say that at all in my post. In fact, I’m complaining as much about promos from well known designers and studios. I find the stuff that gets sent to me from designers of all experience levels to be impressive, but not useful for my own purposes, and so I would rather do without them.

    Finally, I also find it so interesting that people equate print promotions with some kind of essential creative authenticity, something undeniable — or deniable only by the heartless. Nathan, in defense of print promos you say that “the format is irrelevant, because, at the risk of sounding trite, it’s the thought that counts.”

    Really?

    What if people were sending me CD-ROMs? What if those CD-ROMs were full of Macromedia Director movies? Those would require tremendous effort and thought, and yet I don’t think people would be so offended if I never bothered to load them up or if I said that “I can’t understand why any designers bother to burn CD-ROMs and send them out anymore.”

    There’s an emotional connection to printed materials that doesn’t exist for other media and technology, I realize. That’s fine. But I think it’s unfair to allege my criticism of print promos as somehow being tantamount to arrogance. What I’m trying to do here is offer my opinion (print promos are ineffective), take a guess at the trend that I believe this represents (print promos will only become more and more ineffective) and have a debate about it. Impugning my reputation is not a productive way to have this debate, and what’s more it’s not based on anything I’ve said but rather purely on your own inferences.

  25. Hmm. I understand what you’re saying, but, personally, I do find printed promos to be more effective. It’s all to do with the senses, the more sense you engage, the more powerful the impact of something is.

    An online promo/portfolio can really only engage the sense of sight, which is great for designers, naturally. However, we’re tactile creatures, and engaging the extra sense of touch (what paper did the designer use, how does it relate to the design, is it FSC accredited, etc.) tells you a lot about the designer and their choices.

    I’ve even been known to scent work slightly depending on whether it’s going to a man or woman (a sneaky trick and one thoroughly worth trying to engage yet another sense). It’s horses for courses really, I wouldn’t discount either printed or digital media for promo uses, they’re tools and every tool has an appropriate application.

    As for the ‘green’ aspect, the truly environmentally conscious amongst us use paper from sustainably managed forests. Forests which are actually endangered by people not using paper. Which is maybe something to consider…

  26. I’ve been following this thread and I must say am surprised at the volitility. The notion that Khoi is expressing some kind of elitism here is, I think, being projected onto his post. In particular, @Former Fan seems to have introduced this line of thinking, but as I read back over what Khoi actually wrote in the initial post, I don’t find any particular thing there that reflects that line of thinking.

    As far as I could tell, Khoi was originally expressing frustration with receiving print promotion and questioning its value. Given the time and expense they require, and the many psychological and physical barriers that a piece of promotional material must cross in order to be effective, I think this question is totally legitimate. (Anyway, nowhere did Khoi say that all print of any kind should be abolished.)

    All that said, what has emerged in the comments thread has evolved a bit. I am sure Khoi receives plenty of promotional stuff, some of which he might receive regardless of his influence, and some of it specifically because of his influence. Either way, I can see how it would be burdensome. Is that elitism? I don’t think so. I saying so elitism? Again, I don’t think so. Yes, it might be disappointing to the people who sent Khoi stuff in the hopes he might give them props online, but I think that’s just life. If you’re hoping that someone else’s influence will benefit you, you’re likely to be disappointed.

  27. With total certainty, you just cut your inbound mail presents in half!
    I would have to agree with you partially. I have tons of great little print catalogs and zines, from artists around the world. I have them all inside a plastic bag, and share them with students at workshops in Brazil. it’s my bag of graphic tricks. But yes, you raise an interesting question about our generation, and the reversal of the permanent, from print to digital. always interesting brain food. thanks
    p.s. you will never get a package from me.
    Being honest is always interesting.

  28. Khoi,

    I see your point, and of course am willing to reconsider aspects of my position. Even given what I said, I wouldn’t extend the implications so far as to say that they impugn your character or reputation, though I see how my angle could be read as such and for that I apologize.

    There are separate issues at play here — that of the effectiveness of printed mail as a format, and your personal qualitative decision on the value of any correspondence regardless of format. I shouldn’t have made the assumptions I did in mixing the two, and on the whole, I don’t think your post represents elitism.

    Though, there was something to how you conveyed your point that gave it an air of cynicism and superiority beyond what was intended – particularly the last sentence. I don’t accept the notion that digital is always the right tool for any job, regardless of the year. Your comparison to CD-ROMs is a valid hypothetical, but the written letter has been around in various iterations for over 4,000 years. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I think print has its place.

    I realize there’s a big difference between truly personalized physical mail (postcards, letters, even designed things made for a specific set of eyes) and promos. I see now that your main issue here is with the broad category of print promos, but parts of the original argument came off (to me at least) as a dismissal of anything with a stamp on it. My mistake.

    Beyond the literal points of your argument, the style of your post was practically begging for a rebuttal, so perhaps you intentionally seeded what should be a healthy debate. That said, I’ll end my rambling with an attempt to diffuse any further negativity in this thread. Your opening line citing ‘modest respect’ was far too humble; you have immense respect from innumerable folks in the design and technology spheres. And as I’m sure you know, not everyone expects something from you when they float something your way. They might just, as a natural response to your work and character, delight in sharing something they care about with you.

  29. Nathan: You’re right; I was probably too strident in my delivery, which in retrospect makes it understandable how it might have come off as cynical and superior. I apologize for that. I could have and should have taken more care.

    Regarding this point you made: “I don’t accept the notion that digital is always the right tool for any job, regardless of the year.” I actually agree with that too. Though perhaps not to the same extent as you do. I generally feel that digital is usually the right tool for any job, but I acknowledge it’s not always the right tool.

    Anyway, thanks for the spirited debate. I appreciate it.

  30. Khoi,

    After reading your response to my comment I went back and re-read your post. I’ll be honest it didn’t seem as bad as I had originally interpreted. I apologize for sounding like I was lecturing you, and saying that you don’t value what other designers have to offer. I was wrong. It’s clear that you have invested a lot of time and energy into helping designers and giving back to the community.

    I have now started questioning the effectiveness of promotional pieces, so for that I thank you. I also think you are the exception in this case. I’m sure there are several studios out there that get a fraction of what you get, and my guess is that it’s probably less of an issue for them as it is for you.

    This is a heated debate for sure, so thanks for bringing it to the forefront!

  31. I work for a company that produces materials for conventions. I design the printed versions, that convention attendees pick up either outside their hotel doors or when they enter the convention center every morning. We do have someone on staff that also produces a digital version of the paper, that can be “paged through” online, and we offer meeting-specific apps as well.

    I do worry that someday soon convention organizers are going to want to go paperless and I will be out of a job…at least in this industry. I have some CSS skills, but I am no guru.

    I understand why you don’t hold on to printed pieces, but I still believe that printed materials will continue to exist. Perhaps I am in denial because I don’t want to be outmoded though. :-/

  32. From personal experience, I can say that the charge of elitism is baseless; I’m a young designer and Khoi has helped me tremendously.

    To the post itself:
    Assuming the digital and print materials can be of equal quality (which won’t be true for some projects), I think the question of which medium to use turns on whether your user is more adept at handling print materials or digital ones.

    Many people, like Khoi, will find digital easier to manage and therefore less burdensome. Digital materials, after all, can be filtered systematically for much greater efficiency, if the user has a refined workflow.

    But there are still some people who just don’t like dealing with computers—not necessarily because they’re inept at it, but often just because it reminds them of work/the office. My mom, for instance, would much rather sort her mail than her email.

    Plus, the mail is only delivered once a day, while digital signals are endless. And, printed materials are of higher quality than digital ones on the whole because producing total crap in print is not economically feasible—when was the last time you got an ad for knockoff Viagra in the mail?

    These advantages of print can be more than made up for by a refined digital workflow, so it’s probably safe to assume we’ll see a greater shift towards digital in the future. But for now, digital still feels like second nature to many people.

  33. I feel like those printed pieces keep getting made because of teachers who left design before it really hit the web are still convincing students that their job will consist of print collateral and direct-mail pieces.

    A smart thing one of my better teachers told us was “design something people won’t want to throw away”. So putting myself in the recipients shoes, I wonder how long I’d actually keep a printed doodad on my desk before tossing it.

    Hasn’t that always been the nature of design? We work so hard for things people don’t notice, and end up going in the garbage eventually?

  34. Khoi,

    Feel free to forward books and magazines to me. I would love to receive them as I think that many of them could provide inspiration and reference for future designs of… yep, books and magazines. I don’t think the web or a digital image can provide this.