“I think most of the blah-blahing about MP3s versus records (or printed books vs. e-books) is a mix of honest-to-God personal preference and sheer sentimentalism. I think we all need to shut up about this, because nothing anyone writes or says is going to change any minds. Most of the drum-beating amounts to snobbery for being part of a grand tradition or arrogance for being an early adopter. Both are equally foolish things to be prideful about. Find what works for you, and be happy with it. Music is fun and nourishing. Let it be.”
—Frank Chimero on access versus ownership, print versus digital, and mp3s versus records.
Neither is inherently better than the other. Both can coexist. Find what works for you and fully enjoy that book, that album, that movie, that anything.
“[E]verything we do, everything we make, is not about the beginning or the end of things. We may draw a line, but we are in the thick of life. We make for these middle parts. Every time we sit down to write, draw, design, paint, dance, we do so because we believe there will be a tomorrow. Every movement and each creation says, “The world is not done yet.” To make is to be optimistic. We get to make tomorrow for ourselves and one another, and we are lucky, because we are allowed to be engaged with the world and one another in this way.”
From Frank Chimero’s inspiring piece The Storm and The Line
We get to create tomorrow. Together, we can build a new world, a world that’s better than this one. That’s what great art does—it momentarily takes you out of this world and lets you see a glimpse of another world, a better world. A world we too can create.
This is one of those things you always know to be true deep down but sometimes it feels good to let someone else say it. This is one of the many reasons I can’t wait for Frank’s book.
“There’s nothing wrong with correcting mistakes, and proper form is usually important, but to discount things because of the reasons they are wrong may just be to ignore all the other reasons that they are right.”
Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes! This is everything I’m about.
“Consider that Coke. You’ve looked at the nutritional label on a Coke before, right? You can look at how much sugar is in there or how many calories or however you want to frame it. That’s nutritional stuff on there. But, if you look at it from a nourishment perspective, there’s really only one thing that matters. Are you no longer thirsty after you drink it? Are you content?”
The first part in Frank Chimero’s series on nourishment was exactly what I needed to read today. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of nourishment and thirst and satiating hunger. Not in the strict sense of food and drink, but in the philosophical sense of life and meaning. I’ve been thinking about the Coke we drink that we think is satisfying that thirst but in the end, it’s just a temporary cure and ends up making us even thirstier. Think of all the things we consume, habits we indulge in, and relationships we involve ourselves in just in an attempt to fill that thirst. But it always leads us wanting more, doesn’t it?
I think in many ways, I’ve tried to quench my thirst with knowledge. If I just learn more facts, read more books, watch more documentaries, I’ll feel better. But knowing facts doesn’t quench your thirst. A wine taster knows more about wine than I will probably ever know. They know how to hold the glass if it’s a white wine versus a red wine. They can take one sip and tell you about the grapes used. With one sip, they can go on and on about the facts of that particular wine. But you know what, a wine taster doesn’t drink wine when they are thirsty. They know that drink and those facts won’t quench their thirst.
Perhaps it’s time to stop reaching for those temporary quenchers that only leave me thirstier.
“I don’t think we need to shoot up another leaky rocketship. But, where do we go to find promise? Where is a light we can start walking towards? We’ll project promise on to anything that feels like it will not break. Politicians, deities, products or punditry, no matter. Promise us something unbreakable and we’ll give you our hearts.”
“So let’s talk about ink on paper. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but here is what I want to see: I want to see things earn the privilege to be objects. If we have the option of things being “real” and “not real,” I want the real stuff to be really good. I want the times when ink hits paper to always be beautiful, useful, and desirable. It seems like such a shame to cut down a tree to print this Land’s End catalog, with the thin model coyly smiling at me on the back in her awkward swimsuit. I bet it bunches up in the wrong spots. It seems silly to give permanence to a thing that was meant to be ephemeral to begin with. This goes for junk mail, beach-books, handouts for students, whatever. If your shelf-life is shorter than forever and ever amen, I think we need to think about whether or not it needs to be printed.”
—Frank Chimero responding to a question on the future of print design. I 100% agree with him. As we move into an era where printed material could become second to digital content, we need to make sure the printed content is really, really good. Jaw-droppingly good. It needs to be worth the extra cash. I’d be very curious to hear what Mr. McLuhan would say today because he was talking about this stuff fifty years ago.
Frank ends with the real kicker though: “Here is my tip to you: stop thinking of yourself as a print designer. You’re not designing for print. You’re designing for content.” Brilliant.