WHY PRINT NEEDS DIGITAL
As CA’s Rosie Hilder prepares to move to Creative Bloq, she reflects on the role of print in a digital age
Rosie Hilder reflects on the role of print in a digital age
Over the last two years, I’ve worked on 23 issues of Computer Arts. But by the time you read this, my print career will be over – at least for now. I’ll have moved to a new job on CA’s website, Creative Bloq. Leaving one role to start another is always exciting and scary in more or less equal measure, and though this move is within the same company (on the same floor, no less), I’ve got mixed feelings.
There are so many things I love about making print mags. I love the quest for the perfect synergy of words and pictures, I love working on covers – especially with CA’s beautiful cover treatments – and I love being able to show people what I do by handing them the finished product. I also enjoy getting feedback on an issue I’d long forgotten about. For me, working in print is delayed gratification at its finest.
There are also things I won’t miss. I won’t be sad to leave behind the four-week issue cycle, the stress of realising an error has made it to print and the inevitable feeling of panic as (yet another) deadline looms.
In some ways, that’s why the new job is so appealing. I’ll no longer be ruled by print deadlines – meaning taking holiday will be easier, and instead of having to wait a month or two to get feedback, I’ll get instant satisfaction in the way of likes, shares and page views. But best of all for a perfectionist like me, no mistake will be permanent, and I’ll be able to quickly update a misspelled name or an errant apostrophe.
My day-to-day work won’t change that much, though. I’ll still be in charge of fact checking, spellchecking and sorting out wonky grammar. I’ll still need to concern myself with page furniture, it’ll just be a different kind – my headers will need to please Google, not just the editor. And while I won’t have to worry about making copy fit in InDesign or standing out on the newsstand, I will have to navigate the CMS, master SEO and grab people’s attention on the internet – where they’re arguably more distractible than they ever were at WHSmith.
These days, declaring print is dead and digital is the future is hardly original, but it’s not as simple as that. Why do they have to be so separate? Shouldn’t the best websites and digital campaigns rely on print, and vice versa? Can’t both mediums learn from each other? And don’t magazines need to go digital to survive?
That’s why I feel this is not a move away from print or Computer Arts, but more a swing to a different branch of the same tree. Creative Bloq both supports and relies on the six magazines in Future’s creative and design division. So while I’ll have left print, I’ll be doing my bit to sustain it, too. I think that’s something to be excited about. If nothing else, it’s at least worth a ‘like’ or two.