Five ways digital technology influences print

4th September 2016

By Michael Pfeffer
Senior Graphic Designer

1.Larger, higher quality images

As camera technology, screen resolution, processor speeds, and bandwidth improve, we are seeing an increase in high quality, high-resolution photography. This means larger, more colorful photos. It also means more beautiful close-ups of products and photos spanning a printed page.

An example of this change can also be found in the stock photography industry. Photo hobbyists are producing incredible stock photography that is minimal in cost or in some cases free, but also looks and feels much more natural when compared to what was available just a decade ago.

 

Getty Images and Fox teamed up in 2015 to poke fun at old school stock photography.
Getty Images and Fox teamed up in 2015 to poke fun at old school stock photography.

 

 

2.Experimental typography

The past decade has seen a boom in quality fonts available to designers. There was a time when the availability of fonts was dependent on large type foundries (as it still is in Japanese language). Today, companies like Google are in the mix. There are also many independent font designers who are coming up with more experimental offerings.

 

Exodus is a display serif typeface created by American Andrew Herndon. Sometimes luxurious and sometimes wacky, the Exodus font family boasts an impressive six styles and more than 100 characters.
Exodus is a display serif typeface created by American Andrew Herndon. Sometimes luxurious and sometimes wacky, the Exodus font family boasts an impressive six styles and more than 100 characters.

 

3.Simplicity

Flat color and simplified icons play both a functional and aesthetic role in user interface (UI). It used to be that UI and web design would closely resemble real-life objects, but the shift has been toward simplification. Instagram is one of many that have jumped onboard this trend.

This has also crossed over to print. Infographics and icons with crisp, computer-rendered edges are commonplace in printed brochures, publications, and posters.

 

Poster / CL: room-composite / AD+D: KEISUKE MAEKAWA (room-composite) Graphic Design in Japan 2016 Selection
Poster / CL: room-composite / AD+D: KEISUKE MAEKAWA (room-composite) Graphic Design in Japan 2016 Selection

 

4.Chaos

Other designers are going in the opposite direction, preferring chaos. The rise of pen tablets and an increasing number of features in Photoshop and Illustrator encourage designers to get playful.

 

An example of this is Katsuhiko Shibuya’s work for Shiseido. His fusion of the Shiseido logo with the company’s classic patterns is an Adobe Illustrator nightmare to some, but an award-worthy design to others.
An example of this is Katsuhiko Shibuya’s work for Shiseido. His fusion of the Shiseido logo with the company’s classic patterns is an Adobe Illustrator nightmare to some, but an award-worthy design to others.

 

5.Bright colors

In the digital age, designers are thinking in a broader RGB color range. This has an influence on printed matter as well. Bright colors using special inks are easier to achieve thanks to advancements in printing and color system technology.

 

Atsuki Kikuchi’s record jacket design and Masashi Murakami’s coffee package design were on display at the Tokyo Midtown Design Hub 59th Exhibition, Graphic Design in Japan 2016.
Atsuki Kikuchi’s record jacket design and Masashi Murakami’s coffee package design were exhibited at Graphic Design in Japan 2016.

 

 

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