Last week, I was interviewed by a sophomore design student preparing to write a paper on how graphic design is changing with technology advancement. I thought I would share my answers for anyone with similar inquiries.
What projects you are working on at the moment?
Most recently, I’ve been working on designs for the PERQ office culture and the launch of their rebrand. You can see photos read about it on eOffice Snapshots. Inside PERQ’s Collaborative and Energetic Offices
Where do you see design moving in the future with regards to handcrafted versus digital media?
You can always get your hands dirty and craft a project completely without the help of new technology; however, I do acknowledge the flux in accessible technology. Newcomers have begun to rely on the computer as a crutch to make their work “look” professional and cut out the planning process. It’s much easier to hop in Adobe Photoshop and begin designing with all of the available tools and typefaces. For this reason, you will see a saturation of design that lacks conceptual planning.
Does it seem as if the increase in the mediums of communication due to technology, such as websites and smart phones, has helped or hindered design?
To me, these are all different types of mediums requiring different planning. At the core, all of these require a lot of the same design elements expressed within different constraints. As a brand designer, I think of how I can create a plan that pulls all of these things together in to one recognizable entity. So, I wouldn’t say that smart phones and websites hurt design; they only broaden it.
How do you think that the absorption of other jobs into the designer’s, such as typesetting, has changed the way the contemporary designer thinks?
By absorbing the typesetters’ job, a contemporary designer has the ability to accomplish a lot more in the realm of publication with great speed. The ability to pull from hundreds or even thousands of fonts on the daily for my spread designs is something that I never take for granted. When a designer has control of the artwork and font family combinations simultaneously, communicating a message is much more efficient.
Do you think the ease of working with design technology has been a good or bad thing for the state of design as a whole?
Technology is a great tool for the graphic designer that doesn’t abuse it. There will always be a few bad apples in the bunch relying on the computer to take the easier way out. Those individuals taking technology for granted, and dropping their sketchbooks, will likely end up bumping their head on the production ceiling.
How do you feel with regards to (very) small businesses using these technologies without guidance? On the one hand, they are not creating the most effective works, but on the other hand they can communicate in some way and save money that can go back into maintaining a livelihood.
As an individual who learned to use Photoshop out of necessity before college, I know what it’s like to operate the software without an artistic or design perspective. Small businesses would come to me to tell me what to do for them. They wanted creative control, but didn’t have the software skills. I guess what you are asking is sort of the other way around, but you get the same result. More times than not, you end up with a design that is not unique and has strong potential to come out looking crude or unexceptional.
There seems to have been a big shift in the perception of design, with it mainly being focused on technology. My Dad once tried to tell me graphic design was a STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) program. What do you think of the shift in focus and perception of Graphic Design from fine art inspirations to technology based learning?
My opinion is that art and science do not need to be polarized against each other. Like government, when both sides work together, we achieve great beauty and functionality in coexistence. Steve Jobs had a phenomenal understanding of that balance.
Finally, since everyone has something to say, and now everyone has a means to communicate that idea, what do you think allows some ideas to be communicated “louder” than others?
Those who have an understanding of how to craft a message and utilize their chosen mediums most effectively will cut through the noise. It’s all about creating clarity.