Computers are so easy. Everything one needs to create a design is efficiently stored on a digital hard drive in a compact device that you can use while lounging in a cushy chair. Why would a designer ever use anything else to design? Well, perhaps computers are not the all encompassing devices they are hyped up to be. Maybe there are things they can’t do. 1. Digital can’t emulate it all Cursive rich701 (via Flickr) While digital mediums become special database increasingly effective at emulating analog looks such as vintage fading, stamping and watercolor there are some things it will never be able to emulate well.
Take for example cursive typography. In digital cursive type faces the connecting points for cursive characters all need to be in the same place for the font to work. This is often unnatural and stiff looking, especially compared to hand written cursive! Furthermore, in a digital cursive font there is no variation in reoccurring letterforms, which special database quite frankly is a conceptual failure in regard to hand emulation. The slight variation in hand written letterforms is a big part of what gives cursive it’s organic and naturally flowing feel. Not to mention it’s charm and personality!
Handmade design hasn’t become any less amazing Rand Close Up close up of design work by Paul Rand It’s easy to forget that many of the all time great designers didn’t use computers at all. In fact Paul Rand, perhaps the most famous graphic designer of all time, was a firm believer in using one’s own hands. In the close up above, note all the happy accidents in the cut shapes and the feelings that are invoked by the hand lettering. Additionally in a digital workspace, a designer is mainly expressing through the mind. Conversely, in an analog work space a special database designer is able to express with both the mind and body. This can be quite liberating!