Lost its Lead
Why bother with print?
The art of printing is often forgotten in the restless world of digital graphic design. Most people encounter graphic design mainly in the context of advertising, where it can sometimes feel vain and superficial. There is a clear need — and appetite — for a more genuine and materially grounded base in graphic design.
Lost its Lead does this by compiling the forgotten stories in print history, interviewing trailblazers in different cultural settings where print has been present, and illustrating how print has always been a part of something bigger.
The title refers to the essay “Socialism and print” by the French philosopher Régis Debray. He describes how the art of printing has lost much of its artisanal value through excessive streamlining. He writes: ”when print lost its lead”, and refers of course to typesetting, but it can also refer to a weight, a counterbalance to keep the graphic culture grounded to its materiality. In the same way, this project shows you why we as graphic designers today need to care for print. It’s worth the bother.