The Future of Newspaper

With the advent of digital readers like the Kindle and the iPad, is the future of the daily newspaper in jeopardy? One of the things that I think caught most newspapers off-guard was the internet. I’m sure several doubted the far-reaching cultural impact this technological advance would have on societal norms, but when every other business under the sun was jumping on the dot com bandwagon newspapers followed suit cloning online content from their printed counterparts. This wouldn’t have been such a big deal had they not offered any of the content online for FREE. Now that more and more people go to the web for their daily intake of news, the printed word becomes less of a service that people are willing to pay for. Will it ever die completely? I don’t think so, but newspapers better find a way to develop a digital subscription to their online publications that won’t anger their customers. It’s going to take revenue to keep those presses running, even if that revenue comes from online subscriptions.

The Pen Was a Weapon

The old saying ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ had more literal meaning to the graphic designer 25 years ago. The Mac computer was new on the scene so analog tools like the technical pen (T-pen) were standard issue. Maintaining this integral piece of equipment was a high priority, so it didn’t take long before you had memorized its anatomy. Cleaning the T-pen was a ritual of sorts that varied little. Disassemble. Soak nib parts in alcohol. Reassemble.

Loading the cartridge with ink was its own art form and coaxing the ink into the nib required gentle lateral wrist movements (if you heard the nib click in its housing you had good ink flow). If the ink ever stopped flowing, only the prescribed lateral wrist agitation was recommended. Any violent vertical pumping almost guaranteed that ink was sprayed everywhere. If you were lucky it wasn’t all over the illustration you’d slaved over for days. As if maintaining one of these ‘weapons’ wasn’t enough, we were armed with seven of them! To this day, every time I choose a stroke thickness in an Adobe application I can’t help but think of the wretched T-pen.