Inside the Mind of a Print Designer

I have been a lover of print for as long as I can remember. 

Putting pencil to paper was how I practiced my illustration skills. Carefully selected posters, photographs, and matted artwork adorned the walls of my room. Some of my cherished possessions have been journals and sketchbooks collected from worldly travels and gifted by loved ones, still waiting to be used for the perfect ideas. 

Print was where I felt home and where I worked. My career began as a museum production artist, designing pamphlets and exhibit assets, followed by editorial design in magazine publishing, all whilst dabbling a bit in packaging on the side. The commonality of it all? Their tangibility. The satisfaction of holding the finished product and the idea that my art could be in the hands of so many consumers never ceased to boggle my mind. 

And then the digital age really took off, putting a hold over my love and skill in the tactile arts. How do I maneuver when everything I was doing was being labeled as the past? The role of a graphic designer was constantly evolving—from digital content creation to animations to UI/UX—and it became so easy to fall off the wagon. Everyone’s eyes were glued to all sizes of digital screens, streaming videos and doom scrolling on Instagram. With new projects and clients came the need to immerse myself in other mediums, and I gradually (with some resistance) got my foot into the digital world.

But came an overwhelming sense of exhaustion—the era of digital fatigue. People are now choosing to hide ads on social media or hitting the unsubscribe button as soon as the email is in their inbox. I often find myself fast forwarding videos (or not watching them at all) out of frustration of long-winded product explanations and meaningless stories. It’s no wonder the human attention span has gotten significantly shorter. It’s not to say that digital graphics are not important or impactful, but it is becoming more and more difficult to focus on an oversaturated platform, for both the creator and the consumer.

I recently joined Snowball Print Marketing as Art Director with this digital fatigue in mind. Despite the challenges that the digital world has introduced, print is certainly still around. More businesses are returning to print marketing strategies, confirming the efficacy that’s been tried and tested for decades. Direct mail is such a niche world with so much to provide, and I’ve already gained such incredible insight from fellow print enthusiasts within my short time here at the company. The tangibility and benefits of direct mail instills my passion for print—an e-card just doesn’t beat the intrigue of a postcard when you open that mailbox. Working with a limited amount of space and visuals, design challenges exist in print story-telling, but there’s a deeper sense of craftsmanship with tactile works.

Of course, the company’s products are important, but its stance on sustainability and foundation of women empowerment were equally (if not more) important in my decision to join Snowball. I have thrived with women-centric teams most of my career life, and I know that working with fellow print lovers and industry professionals will further strengthen my skills in design and communication. As the lead of a newly formed creative department, I am excited to see what future prospects will bring and what we as a team have to offer. There are plenty of things to learn about direct mail, but I am certain that I have the right set of expertise and support here at Snowball Print Marketing.

Celebrate your love for print by checking out Snowball’s 2024 flurries on our Instagram @snowball_pm and LinkedIn page!

Written by: Yuiko Sugino, Art Director