What Can Digital Print Offer to the Creative and Design Communities?

Covers

Written by Paul Miller
World Wide Marketing Manager, iGen Product Family, Xerox

CF3

Brilliance happens when a vision is brought to life through the formation and execution of a series of original ideas.

An entrepreneur turning a passion into a successful business venture. A musician telling a story through a series of metaphoric verses. An artist transforming a blank canvas into a masterpiece, capturing our imagination with each stroke of a brush.

Have you ever had the opportunity to share that exact moment with someone, witnessing firsthand as their vision was brought to life?

Just a few months ago, I was fortunate enough to share that incredible experience with a renowned illustrating designer, Craig Frazier.

Craig is a leading conceptual illustrator whose work has appeared worldwide in more publications than you can count (The New York Times, Time Magazine, and Fortune, to name a few) and for more clients than you can imagine (Adobe, Boeing, Chevrolet, and the U.S. Postal Service, among many others).

He chose to collaborate with Xerox and Mohawk on the production of a new, limited-edition, digitally printed book entitled, Sketchy: Sketches from 1999-2014 by Craig Frazier. The book, printed using a Xerox iGen 150 Press on Mohawk Superfine paper, serves as a reminder of the emotion print can evoke, the attention its physicality demands, and the intimacy its tangibility fosters.

The great designers know how and when to employ these traits in order to advance a message, a brand, an emotion, an idea, a cause, and a sense of authenticity. For those in the creative community, there is a natural draw towards the electronic space. It is the shiny object in the room. The online world catches your eye. It is fast, flexible, exciting, vibrant, viral and always changing. For some, this is the only world they have ever known.

CF5

But I am here to tell you why the creative community should take notice to the world of print and familiarize itself with the advantages digital print technology delivers.

I witnessed the incredible creative process for a brilliant illustrator, and it took place in a room filled with printing presses and reams of paper in all weights, colors, and textures. I watched Craig’s eyes light up with excitement, but behind them you could see his mind feverishly working as he felt the substrates, adjusted the files, and touched the printed pages coming off the Xerox iGen 150 Digital Press.

Beyond the printed page, Craig saw the flexibility offered by digital print technology. A print run as low as one was now a viable option, allowing for a series of small tweaks and alterations before finally committing.

Digital print offers another differentiator in the form of customization. Coming into the project, Craig shared a vision of making Sketchy available in a handful of cover variations. As he began experimenting with ideas, I watched as one table of unique covers turned into two, which quickly turned into three. We ended with thirty different cover variations; which could have easily been one hundred. And that was fine. Digital print opens new doors for products targeted to custom audiences. Think special versioning and limited editions. And the quality? According to Craig, the books produced on the Xerox iGen 150 Press were indiscernible from his experiences with traditional offset print.

Living in an online world, it is easy to feel as though we are drowning in communications. Messages flash before our eyes, here one moment, gone the next, one after another.

Craig Frazier Sketchy Poster

Paper combined with great design becomes art. A unique experience can be created through print. It helps to foster human connections in a way missing from purely digital communications. Today with the prevalence of mobile devices and cameras, print is being shared in new ways. Social networks aid print in transcending the physical form to digital, further expanding its impact and reach in ways never before fathomed.

For those in the creative and design circles, the opportunity is as real as the feeling of Craig’s book, Sketchy, in your hands.