ludwig rensch questions the appearance of printers and proposes his own
ludwig rensch questions the appearance of printers and proposes his own ludwig rensch questions the appearance of printers and proposes his own
jun 27, 2016

ludwig rensch questions the appearance of printers and proposes his own

ludwig rensch questions the appearance of printers and proposes his own
(above) paper prints from an upright paper roll
all images courtesy of ludwig rensch




based on the question why printers in general can be so frustrating and why they’re able to turn every room they’re in into an office, ludwig rensch questioned the general appearance of common printers and decided to start from scratch, rethinking the whole product. ‘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.


 video courtesy of ludwig rensch




ludwig rensch‘s ‘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 an 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.

on the backside is a scanner

cleverly arranged physical controls make paper easy to use

simple light points informs the user about the printers progress or supply levels

sketching to create new shapes to represent the machine’s functionalities

sketches of the interface

cardboard model at an early stage

rough model



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: juliana neira | designboom

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    design news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    502,388 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample