Earlier this month, we had the distinct thrill of unleashing PRINT’s next chapter out into the world, and of course, we needed a kick-ass video to mark the momentous occasion. There was no one better suited for the job than the creative minds at design agency Pearlfisher, and our team had the pleasure of working closely with them to develop a jazzy video animation worthy of our relaunch.
The poppy finished product is at once nostalgic and retro, yet undeniably forward-thinking. Pearlfisher looked to a scrapbook-esque, collage animation style that creates a textured effect and brings a tactile quality to the graphics, perfectly suiting PRINT’s history as a physical magazine whose many covers are featured throughout the video. A diversity of aesthetics and media are used rapidly in the animation, strung together with quick cuts punctuated by the soundtrack. The result not only captures PRINT’s storied legacy but makes a bold impression for a new generation of designers and creatives as the publication looks to the future.
Pearlfisher Creative Director Christian Bird shared insights into their process of making the video and further reflects on the significance of PRINT within the design world.
What was the creative process behind the creation of this video?
PRINT has always been influential for all kinds of creatives. So when PRINT’s new team of founders decided it was time to evolve the platform, we were excited to capture the legacy, the never-ending evolution of PRINT’s incredible content. The creative process for the video truly began when we got special access to the PRINT magazine physical archive. We had a unique opportunity to comb through and hand-select the most iconic and inspiring covers that still resonate today—whether they’d be considered “beautiful” or “irreverent”—bringing its undisputed influence on visual culture off the physical page, reimagining them through animation to create an eclectic journey into the PRINT of the past and future.
What was your overall intention behind the video? What were the main ideas you wanted to communicate?
Our overall intention was a simple one: To celebrate the creatives, designers, and writers whose work has been featured in PRINT over the years. PRINT Magazine represents an entire spectrum of skills and artistry in the design world. We wanted to communicate this by capturing the publication’s existence, right from the first issue to the present day—creating a contemporary narrative that reminds people that PRINT, both as a medium and a creative publication, is very much alive and ever-changing.
What was it like diving into the PRINT cover archives for the video?
It was a real treat and a privilege that Debbie Millman gave us access to go through the cover archives. Getting to dig into every edition and unearth hidden gems was exciting and inspiring. To be able to reflect on just how powerful some of the covers were and to be able to share them more widely as a visual record of decades of creative culture was a wonderful experience. I hope we can share the entire archive in the future.
What was the process like for integrating the visuals of the video with the distinct soundtrack? How did you want the soundtrack to complement and elevate the graphics?
We wanted to reference components of the print world. More specifically, how the old world of print is a mechanical process, and there is an industrial kind of percussion and heavy beat to that. For anyone who has been on a press run or has watched hands pulling silkscreens, you’ll notice a movement consisting of sounds that click, clack, boom, and pop, so we wanted to make sure there was a strong, repetitive beat in the soundtrack. The energetic custom audio track, which we created in-house, alternates between the steady snare of classic jazz and more modern—even futuristic—electronic sounds as a nod to both the old and the new world of print.
How did it feel working for a publication as time-honored in the design industry as PRINT?
I feel extremely privileged to be a part of this. PRINT impacted much of my personal design journey. I’m from the UK, and I remember traveling far just to visit a store called Magma in London to purchase international publications, and PRINT was always one of them. To be a part of this important relaunch is so wonderful and meaningful to me.