A quote from a really good book:
“Design is a process of making, it is the transfer of ideas to a surface by means of tools. Eric Gill used the image of a hand and eye as an emblem in his design. Graphic design exploits the visual and sensual in equal measure.
“If the computer deprives us of anything in exchange for its bounteous gifts, it is the physical pleasures of making. When using the (near redundant) letterpress process, every action has an effect: if the ink is carefully thinned, it prints thinly; if the colors are bled, they print that way, but differently each time; you can see the dust from the paper swirling in the sunlight; you can hear the treacle crackle as you ink the roller; you reel at the bitter smell of the turpentine. Each little piece of type bytes itself into the paper. The surface of work printed by letterpress undulates minutely – the type sinks back, the ink has a sheen. Each print differs, even if only by a fraction, from its fellows.
“This loss of sensuality is felt by even the fiercest devotees of digital design: ‘What I really want on the Macintosh is a virtual reality interface – armholes in either side of the box so you can reach in and move logos around; a real paintbrush so you can feel the texture of the surface underneath’, says Neville Brody.
“Perhaps the most important tool of any designer is the voice: calming, cajoling, questioning, and asserting. Design is above all else a social activity: event the simplest letterhead might involve lengthy meetings and discussion with a long cast-list: client, assistant, photographer, plat-maker, printer and paper supplier. The needs of every cast member may vary.”