A new year has begun, and with it has come the usual flood of resolutions. People everywhere have vowed to get healthy, work harder, and make this year so much better than the last. Amidst the annual spike in gym memberships however, a more troubling proposal has emerged, “Paperless 2013.” Backed by Google and a hand full of other companies, "Paperless 2013" is a campaign aimed at removing printed material from our everyday business lives.
While I fully support moving further into the digitally connected age, (let's be honest we're already there) I don't think this transition should happen as a result of casting bad light on the printing and paper manufacturing industries, industries which have employed people in this country for hundreds of years. Going digital does not necessarily mean going green, electronic waste is a very real thing. In fact, electronic devices typically require the mining of dozens of minerals and metals, plastics, solvents and other non-renewable resources. Paper has somehow gotten a bad reputation when in reality it's a sustainable, renewable resource. Once a printed product has served it's purpose it reenters the cycle as a new product. Far more environmentally friendly than electronic waste.
I'm graphic designer, and have a lot of love for my electronic devices. I sit at a Mac all day, read my Kindle every night and would be lost without my iPhone. I also work for TPI Solutions Ink, a small family owned and operated printing company. Print is what made me want to be a designer. Rifling through paper samples and figuring out perfect CMYK combinations are some of my favorite things. The tangible aspect of design is what makes it special. You get a different experience holding a piece of paper than reading off a screen.
So let's all make a resolution to start off the new year right. Feel free to keep printing paper and keep sending emails. There's room for both print and digital media in this world, and we need to work together to keep both industries going. #HelpPrintThrive
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