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Graphic Communications: The new ‘old’ Values of Print

Language is our most important communication instrument. Communication needs media as means of transport. The technical media (typically embodied by the book) followed the personal media (represented by the human). This quantum jump needed millenniums to develop the required cultural techniques which were necessary therefore. Signs and picture elements, from which characters developed as a complex codification of human expressiveness, moved to the center.

The actual beginning of life is made by the script (Heraklit). Script is visualized language (Otl Aicher). The leading medium of the Gutenberg galaxy is the typographically script (Marshal McLuhan). The paper is its ideal medium. Printed paper allows duplicating ideas and cogitations in the form of text supplemented by pictures, colours and illustrations. The democratization of the knowledge of the world through the printing lead to a refinement and perfection of our communication possibilities: Beside the books came flyer, posters, newspapers, magazines, brochures – in short jobbing in unbelievable diversity.

Printed paper in the form of printing matters sparked a cultural bloom, which created the nutrient medium for the medium- and information age. Without printing matters radio and TV couldn’t have developed and established lasting in the public awareness. Just as little as the internet with its multi medial services of the World Wide Web. Electronic media are fleeting according to their appearance. They require a high technical access effort, but therefore have a virtual unlimited coverage.

Printing matters describe the ideal interface between perception practice through reading and perfect reading equitable information preparation for the human eye and brain. It applies the guideline: Electronics serve the visualization, print creates reminder values.

“What we see today on screens is on a the level of hot type!” (Hermann Zapf). Printing matters are not displaced through the electronic media, because the modern print- and publishing technologies are pathfinders and nutrient medium of digital media. A paradigm change takes place through the digitalization of print: Beside the mass communication comes an individualized communication. Print overtakes a leading function and integrates the electronics. Communication becomes interactive: printing matters can arise as quickly as a website; they respect individual information wishes and generate dialogues. That creates clearance for creativity and makes communication intuitional.

With it a central requirement is fulfilled, which was drafted by the communication searcher Marshal McLuhan like this: A model of intuitional communication is necessary to be capable of acting in the electronic age. On the one hand our culture will have changed in that way that it moves from the pure reasonable acting to intuition and creativity, on the other hand electronic media are creative and intuitional in their composition and handling.

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