Women inspecting prints

In a World of Digital Media, Graphic Designers Still Need Print Skills

In the digital age, graphic designers might be tempted to dismiss print skills as relics of a bygone era. Surely, we’ve met younger designers that insist “print is dead” and focus solely on the latest digital media. However, that would be a grave mistake. If anything, print skills are becoming more crucial in the world of graphic design, not less. Here’s why.

The Power of Tangibility

Digital design is powerful, we are bombarded with it constantly, but it can’t match the tangibility of print. A high-quality printed piece can engage the senses in ways digital media can’t. The feel of the paper, the smell of the print, the visual impact of colors rendered in ink rather than light; these are experiences that resonate with people on a deep level. Graphic designers with print skills understand how to create designs that maximize these sensory experiences, setting their work apart from purely digital designs.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my Kindle e-reader, loaded with hundreds of books, that I can take anywhere. But it can never recreate the tactile experience of cracking open a big, heavy Time-Life picture book.

The Importance of Versatility

Graphic designers are often called upon to create designs that will be used in a variety of formats, both digital and print. A designer who understands print can ensure that their designs work effectively in all formats. They know how to select colors that will reproduce accurately in print, how to set up files for print production, and how to work with printers to achieve the best results. This versatility makes them more valuable to clients and employers.

In a world where clients and employers look to youth and vitality to drive innovation, you can rely on the versatility an experienced designer brings to the table. A designer that effectively handles all media will never lose value.

The Need for Detail

Printed designs are often viewed up close, which means that they need to stand up to scrutiny. Print skills equip graphic designers to handle this level of detail. They understand the principles of typography, layout, and composition that are so crucial in print. They know how to use high-resolution images to ensure crisp, clear prints. Their keen attention to details can make a significant difference in the final printed product.

The Demand in the Marketplace

Even in this digital age, there’s still a substantial market for print design. Many businesses need brochures, business cards, packaging, trade show displays, and other printed materials. Think about how many yard signs, school banners, sidewalk displays and all manner of in-store signage you encounter on a daily basis. Graphic designers with print skills are well-positioned to meet this demand. They can offer their clients a full range of design services, from digital design to print-ready files.

In conclusion, print skills are far from obsolete for graphic designers. They add a layer of depth and versatility to a designer’s skill set that can set them apart in a crowded market. So, whether you’re a budding designer or a seasoned pro, don’t neglect the power of print. It could be your secret weapon for success in the world of graphic design. And employers, a well-rounded designer can very well be a bargain, even at a higher salary than you might pay a less experienced one.

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