Creative Contrasts: A Conversation with a Print Designer


The following is the second in a two-part series called Creative Contrasts, a look at the differences and similarities between web and print design. Today’s piece features Spencer Loveless, Fluid’s print aficionado.

JD: What do you enjoy most about designing for print?

SL: It is tangible. I can hold, feel and touch a print. It’s like having a fine piece of art. It’s another form of UX design; you can still have an experience with a printed piece.

JD: What are some of the limitations of the medium?

SL: It can be expensive and disposable. It can’t last forever.

JD: Can you talk about a print piece you’re especially proud of?

SL: This type specimen book was a project I did to show some of my favorite fonts. For a long time graphic design and architecture have had some common ground and I wanted to capture that in a printed piece. I printed the book on a transparent vellum paper resulting in each spread interacting with one another.

JD: Do you think the print medium can survive in the digital age?

SL: Yes, in fact I feel that it will only get better as technology advances. We’ll see printing capabilities become more common and professional. We’ll be able to develop more and more interesting uses.

JD: What’s the biggest difference between designing for print and designing for the web?

SL: I think the biggest difference is thinking beyond the screen. What you see is not always what you get. In design school it was always taught, Print as You Design. Meaning that depending on paper type, function, use and printer, your design could vary. Printing knowledge comes with experimentation and experience, trial and error.