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The Beauty of the Homemade

I ran across this design for an alarm clock, and to me it was the perfect example of a larger trend I’m seeing these days. With our group consciousness being flooded with virtual (read: not physical) media, we have very few occasions to actually touch and feel a beautifully designed piece. When we actually feel the raised paper of a thick letterpress invitation or when we touch the soft grain of balsa wood, it reminds us that the internet can only bring us so far. A lot of people predict that magazines and newspaper will die out forever but that’s not likely the case. When photography was introduced in the early 1800s, everyone predicted the demise of painting. Same with the introduction of the lightbulb and the candle. Did painting or candles ever die out? No. What happened was that they were relegated to luxury items. Similarly, the magazine and newspaper are in the process of repositioning themselves in the market so they can compete with websites. I think they will need to invest in what makes them different from the web: beautiful, large photos, well-thought out articles and the tangible aspect of their paper. The homemade, physical object was once commonplace and disregarded but it has been elevated to be a luxury item.

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