• Jeff MartinJeff Martin, 8 years ago (edited 8 years ago )

    Hi John! Thanks for doing this :D

    Saw your TED talk a while back and ever since then I've been inspired by the work you've led and experimented in. I guess my question for you is something I'm started to gain interest in:

    With everything going digital, where do you think print design is heading? One of the things that made print design complex was the limits of paper (size, ink, etc.) but digital more or less transcends that. Is print just slowly making a transition to "web design" (dealing with "responsive" paper, etc.)?

    1 point
    • John MaedaJohn Maeda, 8 years ago

      Hello JeffM -- sorry I can't stay longer than 15 more minutes.

      Print design is making a comeback because anything that is hard to do tends to become more valuable. The more scarce something is, the more we tend to want to do it. We humans are funny that way. It used to be that digital design tools were scarce (i.e. the age when there were only a few computers for tens of students); and there were all the tools for designing on paper everywhere. Now it's the reverse. It's hard to get access to a printing press. Facebook has this great "Analog Lab" led by the great efforts of folks like Maria Giudice and Margaret Stewart there — they have a full printing press facility for designers to work in print. The old-fashioned way.

      The thing that I try to keep remembering is that print design is linked to what Paul Rand would say about design -- that it goes back to the caves of Lascaux. It's a primal act -- drawing what we see in our head onto walls. Or in the sand. Or onto any surface, like paper. It's basically the primal desire to express ourselves, and to learn from our expressions.

      So in summary, print vs digital doesn't matter as much as the WHY of our desire to express. Everything else is just a means. Pixar animates people; not abstract clouds of information that we could never understand. The human dimension matters, in all media. And for all time.

      Thanks and best of luck!

      2 points