Digital killed the dinosaur


For designers like me, brought up on a solid diet of print design, the world is changing fast. Within the next few years, virtually everyone will have a tablet or smartphone and more and more people will consume information in digital formats.

Suddenly, in this “anytime, anywhere” world, the printed page doesn’t seem exciting anymore. Yes there are plenty of people who’ll always love the tactile experience of physically turning a page, but there are plenty more who prefer their information to be pixelated and paper free.

So this old dog has needed to learn some new tricks…

Understanding how users interact with digital formats is key.

With the ability to imbed audio, video and interactive elements there are so many design opportunities and it’s vital to stay on top of the best new ways present content.

Enter the designers’ white knight, Adobe…

Adobe is collaborating with a cross-section of companies to help publishers (and designers!) to adapt and flourish. Adobe’s goal is to take the legacy of print (creative layout, crisp typography and rich imagery) and bring into digital world. In Adobe’s Digital Suite, enhancements such as Adaptive Design Tools in InDesign CS6 mean designers can integrate features for digital whilst maintaining control over the look and feel of the page. When you’re designing it’s surprisingly easy to add interactivity to your content and overlays and HTML5 can make an app come alive.

So by working in Digital Publishing Suite I get control over the quality of a page and the reader gets to dive deeper into the content. That’s a ‘win, win’.

But designing for tablets doesn’t just require adapting skills, it requires new ways of thinking compared to print design. Now, your readers can share your work via social media which has the power to get you noticed and rapidly grow your agency’s reputation as well as your client’s.

Although I’m from a print background I’m excited to embrace the new digital publishing landscape. With Adobe Digital Publishing Suite designers who do layout for print can easily do layout for tablet applications. For me, any debate as to where content should live is irrelevant, it should live everywhere.

Digital can complement print, not destroy it.

Digital needn’t kill the print designer, only the print dinosaur.

About Russ

Head of Production