Written by Ashley Long
Graphic Communications Intern, Xerox Corporation
Growing up, I was never sure exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I knew that I wanted to be part of an industry where both the analytical and creative sides of my brain could prosper. After some suggestions and consideration, I applied to RIT in hopes of becoming a Graphic Designer. However, once I received my acceptance letter, my joy was soon filled with curiosity. RIT had granted me admission to their school, but not for Graphic Design. Instead, they stated that should I attend, I would enter as a New Media Publishing major. Thus began the start of my career in print.
Since my first year at RIT, the school and program have undergone many alterations. RIT itself has made structural changes, both in its buildings and its curriculum. Just this year, the school made the switch from quarters to semesters. New Media Publishing has become Media Arts and Technology, the department itself is now known as the School of Media Sciences (formerly the School of Print Media), and boasts of “Media Architects”. One thing that has not wavered has been my love for print.
Since I was a child, I was captivated by the power of books. I began to love the feeling of paper between my fingers and the way the curve of a line could make a letter delicate and ornamental. I saw posters and admired their craftsmanship and wondered about the mix of colors and design elements. I acquired my first printing job at RIT, opened the machines, and was amazed to see their intricate and engineered insides. I felt the dread the day I held my first speeding ticket in my hand and the sweet mix of relief and excitement when I was handed my high school diploma. Print is powerful.
RIT has granted me the opportunity to see many groundbreaking projects and witness even more innovative ideas and discussions, but I find that I am still constantly surprised by the prowess displayed by the students here. The work of so many of my inspiring peers is astounding. In them I see a passion that I can only hope is matched in me.
I’ve heard people say that print is dead. But I ask you to look around on any given day. Print is all around you. Print is in the work you do, the food you eat, the games you play. Nothing else could ever give you the satisfaction of turning through the pages of a great book, slowly absorbing the story, climbing further and further to climax, and finally the crushing and inevitable end. And no other feeling could compare to finding a book that you love after not visiting for so long, and being allowed to live it yet again. Print is not dead. In fact, it is very much alive.
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