We hear it everyday: newspapers, just like books, are becoming obsolete, overshadowed by online articles, instant and immediately accessible with just the tap of a fingertip. Gone are the days of patiently waiting for the morning paper only to discover the latest tragedy or newest world development. Now we know about it before it is even over. Having instant access to all forms of knowledge is a wonderful gift that I would never give up, but there’s something about the smell of newsprint and the dust it leaves on your fingers, just as feeling the starchy softness of a book page creates a physical connection to the story, that just isn’t the same when all you have to do is tap a button.
As a Publications Design student, I know this feeling all too well. I fell in love with designing for print a little too late. This reality cannot be ignored. As I browse job descriptions for graphic designers, the requirement of ad- vanced knowledge of HTML and CSS is becoming more and more prominent. But no matter how many times I see a publication in its digital form—which is typically over and over as I scrutinize every inch before sending it to the printer—there is always something magical about holding the final print in my hand. The smell of the ink, the roughness of the paper, and the magical transition from screen to paper all become part of something beautiful.
As I’ve begun to explore the visual arts in its many forms, I’ve taken note of the current fascination both de- signers and the general public have with letterpress. This technology for printing dates back to the fifteenth century and creates a physical imprint from the block letters left behind on the paper. Once considered an imperfection of the process, the slight impression left in the paper is now often sought after for its distinctly nostalgic look. I’m beginning to realize that in our current world, where digital images and words are constantly thrown in our face, there’s still a secret desire in our hearts for the tangible.
Although The UB Post is accessible online and we are strengthening our online presence step by step, we still publish a printed issue monthly. Next time you’re on your way to class, pick one up and feel the dusty texture of the newsprint as you take a glance. Take solace in the soft colors of the photos, different from the bright screen that assaults your eyes. Let the classic letterforms guide your eye as you indulge in a story about your community at UB. It’s not just cold, hard news; let yourself become enveloped in the experience of reading The UB Post.