Paper: an upright printer/scanner that uses a continuous roll of paper

Stuttgart-based industrial designer created "Paper," a novel concept for a printer/scanner/copier, as part of diploma thesis in UX- and Interaction-Design at the State Academy of Arts and Design.

"Paper" looks a little like one of those old suitcase record-players, and uses a continuous roll of paper to print in different sizes; big, friendly buttons and LED readouts make it easy to tell what's going on inside.

I have no idea whether it would be mechanically reliable enough to be a real product, but the rethink of the design is exciting (it helps that the whole thing is done in safety orange, my favorite color!), and makes me want to throw away the ugly, unreliable, overly complex multifunction printer on my desk.

Paper is part of Rensch’s diploma thesis Interacting with things and explores how today’s machines can be used intuitively. Despite being a connected device (Internet of Things) it hasn’t got a screen but uses physical controls and simple light signals instead, to take advantage of the human fine motor skills.

Paper does also exist in the virtual space and can be operated by an app or a website. Thus, it brings together the analogue and the digital world and transfers visual content from the one into the other.

The result is an entirely new form. Paper is printing on an upright paper roll and therefore is compact, space-saving and mobile. Rather than being a grey necessity for working environments, Paper is a aesthetically pleasing creative tool. The user interface was designed following the Pareto principle, which states that 80% of the time, we only use 20% of the features. To achieve this, Rensch defined a printer’s key functions, analyzed the required procedures and simplified these until the result was an easy to understand, pleasant and minimalistic product.