Making Print a Tactile Experience

How often do you pick up a printed piece and interact with it? I honestly think that an extremely large majority of people would say almost never. On a daily basis I feel the only type of experience a person encounters with print is taking a quick glimpse at the main bolded text or stock art picture and then tossing it in the recycling bin.

With Internet, smart phones, television, the Kindle and other countless products, how can you blame someone for disregarding print? This presents a challenge for printers and designers to think outside the box and use technology to compete with the new media.

This fall at RIT, I was elected as Production Manager for this year’s TAGA (Technical Association of Graphic Arts) Journal. The student-run club in the school of Print Media puts together a technical journal to be presented at the yearly TAGA conference. The organization maintains the industry’s best permanent set of technical papers and abstracts on graphic arts systems and more traditional areas of press, ink and paper engineering applications.

TAGA Journal set

The goal of this year’s journal was to break out of the traditional “tasteless reading experience” and, through the convergence of creativity and technology in printing, take the reader by surprise. The creation of the “ultimate tactile experience” journal began from the outside, proving that there is a lot more to it than just the text within.

Cover: Almost similar to a “VHS” sleeve, we decided to incorporate a die-cut cover to complement the design of the book and offer an aesthetic feel. The book’s size is portable and comfortable to hold.

TAGA Journal sleeve

Dimensional Printing: The incorporation of Dimensional clear coating was extremely crucial to fulfilling the desired level of interaction. To test the results of Dimensional printing, two test-runs were completed on the Kodak NexPress S3000. The runs included test targets designed to observe thickness and overprinting by varying coverage values, as well as resolution by varying line widths.

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