Friday, May 14, 2010

The Art of Printing

Art, in its many forms, has a number of definitions and meanings. Often the result of a human's ability to produce work that evokes emotion and heightens our senses, art in all its beauty, is still in the eye of the beholder. Art is completely subjective which makes us appreciate it when it actually moves us.

One of the most famous cookbooks of all time is Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Julia Child, 1961). An appropriate title as french cooking and all cooking in general is a complete art form. There are subtleties and techniques to cooking and the required knowledge needed to perform and output great meals is art in all its forms.

While we can appreciate the art put into great cooking, we also have to accept that humans have their own unique tastes when it comes to what they eat. Just because a chef puts his heart and soul into a meal and uses all his or her talents to create a masterful representation of the recipe, it does not mean his customer will appreciate any bit of the result. Our senses are a curious thing and art will fall victim to this.

The art of printing certainly falls victim to individual human senses and perception of beauty. Aesthetic judgement by the printer is a delicate balance of perception, preference, skill and knowledge. The reproduction of color and design is art. While completely in the eye of the beholder, a printed piece can powerfully affect our senses.

When thinking of the art of printing, appreciate the skill and craftsmanship that goes into it. Ink on paper, a simple concept, creates subjective beauty. Printing is never perfect as that would suggest that we as humans are all the same. Printing reminds us that we are not the same as art should never aim to achieve the exact human response in all of us. The art of printing should only aim to be appreciated for what it is, something that influences each of our own, unique, individual human senses.