“The reason I read a paper magazine or book is for the time it gives me — for the space to think, reflect, pause, return, re-read, and so on until what’s on the page has morphed from an idea to something deeper.”
For Senior Staff Author John McWade of Lynda.com, paper provides something more than a medium…it provides space and time to truly absorb an idea and let it become something more.
“The reason I read a paper magazine or book is for the time it gives me — for the space to think, reflect, pause, return, re-read, and so on until what’s on the page has morphed from an idea to something deeper,” McWade writes on LinkedIn.
“Online, and even on a tablet, is a different experience. There’s a light in my face. There’s an urgency. It has no closure; there’s always another click, an eternal, forever, world-without-end-amen stream of data rushing, flowing, pounding, demanding, agitating,” he continues.
Part of the reason it can do this is because of its ability to stop the flow for a moment, curating the experience in a complete package that has depth and dimension. McWade believes that this is, in large part, why paper will always exist.
“Yes, some paper publishing is for tradition or power or status quo or because it’s what we’re used to. These things will change. But the essential ways in which paper is truly superior, these are here to stay,” he notes.
It’s this moment in time, undisturbed and unchanging, edited and curated with care, that offers a point of view and an experience for the reader that cannot be replicated onscreen. He ought to know. As an accomplished designer, McWade understands one truth: “Design is everywhere, from the time you get up in the morning until you walk out the door, you have encountered a hundred designs and maybe a thousand.”
For more ideas on how design lives and breathes on paper, check out McWade’s course on Lyndya.com, “Before & After: Things Every Designer Should Know.” And next time you pick up a magazine, take a moment to consider the design and how it impacts your experience. There’s a growing appreciation out there for the simple space and time provided by good print magazine design.