Print Design, which includes Lithography, Silkscreen, and Woodblock, provides wider access to an audience than traditional painting or drawing by allowing for multiple copies of the same work. In the digital age, when images can be easily copied and pasted on the computer and spread over the internet, print design provides an art form that fights against this trend of devaluing access to art and the effort of the artist by limiting the number of physical copies to a number set by the artist. As long as a physical copy of the work exists, the digital copy of the work will fail to provide an authentic experience as much as the physical original.
Print design returns the power of production, distribution, and profit to the artist because it simultaneously allows the artist to access a wider audience yet limits the audience specifically to those who paid to own the product, rather than letting it be duplicated and lose its value ad infinitum over the internet. With the advent of digital art and digital photography, some people declared an end to the traditional mediums such as painting and printmaking. But we now all know that the actual physical work of art is much more valuable and authentic than a digital copy that exists as pixels on a computer display.
Print design also allows for happy accidents and variations within the printmaking process. A silkscreen can have different color combinations or have certain color separations missing. How the artist aligns the paper can have some of the color separations go in slightly different positions as well. This means that each print is unique, unlike a digital copy which is exactly the same.
What this all means is that print design affirms the nature of people as not machines but people prone to mistakes and discoveries. Digital art and print design may appear similar on the surface but are worlds apart. Print design provides a tactile, tangible, and real experience to the viewer, as well as giving the artist the power of distribution and sale while giving the audience the power of physical ownership and patronage of art. I choose print design over digital art because people are meant to experience discovery in the production and authenticity in the product.