The summer of 2017 was met with well designed and highly demanded publications created by some of my favorite musicians. First was Bon Iver who, in conjunction with artist Timothy Carlson, created a newspaper with a design based on each album track per page. The newspaper was only obtainable via record stores in major cities across the world. I was motivated to make the 40 minute journey to my nearest record store collect one, and when I arrived I discovered that a mob of others were equally as motivated.
Not too long after that, Frank Ocean released a magazine, Boys Don't Cry, that could only be obtained at secret pop-up shops. I realized that this was the second case in only a few weeks that a publication available exclusively in print form was so widely sought after and celebrated. It was these two printed publications that inspired me to explore the question of why print media has remained so prominent and valuable even now, when digital media is often seen as the inevitable way forward.
In an increasingly digital world, we retain an inherent connection to print media. This connection is deeply rooted; print media allows us to comprehend through tactility, read faster and more effectively, and satisfy our nostalgic longing for our simpler past, despite the readily available digital equivalents. It’s quizzical why print has remained such a prominent media despite the invention of its digital counterparts. Nor do we yet know whether or not this innate connection will be enough to keep print alive further down the line, as generations of digital natives grow older.