Saying goodbye to offset press?

This week I went to a press check. Not for the press check, though. I ended up at the printer by happenstance:  The gal I was meeting had to be parked there for hours to oversee the completion of her brochure project.  We needed to meet. It worked.

When I walked through the door, I could smell the wonderful, familiar smells of the press room…the same smell you find when you open a new book. (Who doesn’t sniff the innards of a brand new book, right?) Since childhood, I’ve loved this smell.  And I love paper.  Sometimes, when I’m feeling screen fatigue, I work from printed copies of documents. I use my highlighters and colored pens to mark up, edits and organize.  It feels good to go old school.  So the migration to an all-digital world, which is leaving behind the art of the press and the use of paper, sometimes saddens me.

My stop at the printer really magnified an article I had used earlier in the week as part of an online training session on improving blogs and blog posts.  This oldie-but-goodie over at Slate.com, titled Lazy Eyes: How we read online, was written by  in 2008.  I love  Agger’s summary of paper:

We’ll do more and more reading on screens, but they won’t replace paper—never mind what your friend with a Kindle tells you. Rather, paper seems to be the new Prozac. A balm for the distracted mind. It’s contained, offline, tactile. William Powers writes about this elegantly in his essay “Hamlet’s BlackBerry: Why Paper Is Eternal.” He describes the white stuff as “a still point, an anchor for the consciousness.”

P.S.: If you are tasked with creating and managing content marketing in any capacity, this is an essential read…even though it’s now five years old.

Tracy Richardson Clement