Pulp Magic

MARCH 14, 2016

Paper Promises Authentic Connections


The Digital Age is full of paradoxes. We’re more connected than ever before, but we’re also more lonely. We have technology at our fingertips, but we  want to touch something “real.” We’re increasingly living in a virtual world and yet concern for the wellbeing of our physical world is growing.

Paper has an important role to play in this contradictory world. That’s because paper provides an experience – an interface with the real world – that digital platforms can’t.

For example, IPINKKA.com, the design website, is offering an interesting product called the Resketch Book. The book was created as a way of overcoming the artist equivalent of writer’s block. Every page is a different paper – colored construction paper, loose leaf, graph paper, etc. Each one inspires or challenges and every few pages there’s a “creative prompt” such as a half drawn cartoon character or an artist’s quote.

ThinkTime is another paper-based solution for the digital world. It helps you tune out digital distractions so you can concentrate, plan and then take action. ThinkTime’s grids, checklists and calendars focus your mind the way an online tool cannot hope to do.  This isn’t a substitute for the digital world – it actually helps you navigate that world more purposefully

thinktime2 But perhaps the most intriguing paper to digital interface is MyEdit, an idea from London-based branding agency MultiAdaptor for the Think With Google initiative.  MyEdit is a paper notebook with conductive ink and binding that allows you to make selections on the page with a pencil and then have those selections rendered on a computer screen.

Why is this even necessary? Because technology promises us lots of connections and experiences, but paper provides a more authentic connection and a more tactile experience that can’t be replicated online.

Don’t get me wrong, I remember the days back when technology didn’t exist and I welcome the ease, convenience and immediacy it brings. But technology’s sometimes hard edge is softened by paper and that’s something I’d never change.