The Shape Of Jazz To Come

There are impressions I want to share. Writing is formalized thinking, to paraphrase my favourite living philosopher, and there may be something to learn even from refracting acquired knowledge verbally.

Printing is an area I had planned to stay clear of; for time’s (and sanity’s) sake. Fortunately, I now sport a fair amount of what designers without access to litho printers, or a letterpress—God forbid—, need to know to get satisfactory results for all common types of work. In my investigation of print shops around town, what piqued my interest, even more so than the aforementioned historic embossing system, was the offer of techniques such as hot foil stamping, the use of translucent materials, and white ink. Enjoying great popularity for the business cards of design-conscious professionals, the gilding of paper edges in particular stands out in elevating tactile elegance. Such produce is riveting to the touch, as are books and magazines with thoughtful packaging design—I don’t imagine print becoming less relevant, as long as we have skin.

Why now? Colour management. There is a need for confidence in the ability to communicate with printing houses should that necessity ever arise. Even when creating almost exclusively digitally. As commented on in previous projects, colour theory remains something of a perpetual challenge, and understanding industry standards will help in the grand scheme of mastery. This primarily includes colour spaces, wide-range gamut conversion and dealing with losses, soft proofing profiles, correction and grading, print technologies, hard proofing, management systems (Pantone, HKS), bit/chroma depth, computational errors, and all matters of video scopes. Unexpectedly, those should also prove a potent supplement to anyone’s photography post-processing knowledge.

Another advance relates to web development, which I’m very excited about. In a couple of months, I’ll be deploying a new web presence made from scratch. Performance-driven and allowing for fluidity in terms of presentation; crafted the way I need it to be. This means investing time in JS, maybe even SASS and Liquid, as well as improving my HTML/CSS. A suitable hosting provider and domain/DNS service, as well as a version control system and state-of-the-art tools have already been found. WordPress is a useful CMS, but an old framework, bloat, and code restrictions keep it from being the experience I want visitors to indulge in. There has been a surge of brutalist—in leaning with the architecture school—web design, that I find quite inspirational in light of the few non-conformist approaches. It’s a style that may be mutable to a degree that makes it, well, more customer-friendly.

Ken

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