Design’s pressing issue

I share Howard Milton’s plea for a craft revival (DW 31 August), albeit from a slightly different perspective, namely that of a pre-press house.

Along with the decline in designers’ own craft skills, there has also been a decline in the crafts that execute design.

We’ve been told repeatedly that pre-press is dead as digital technology replaces old craft techniques. Yet we continue to work with designers to find the most effective way of implementing ideas into print. We may not use scalpels or etching-baths anymore, but we still use a knowledge that is best described as a craft. I don’t see craft as a dirty word; despite all the talk of workflows, we are not part of the IT industry.

Sadly, though, along with the decline of design as craft, there has been a decline in appreciation of the related crafts required. This doesn’t need to be the case; our best relationships with designers are built on mutual respect between crafts people who rely on each other to produce design that is as well executed as it is conceived.

Chris Holmes, Director, Brand Images/Tapestry, London W1

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