Technology has had a monumental impact on graphic design. With the development of design-based software programs and the increase in accessibility and usability of computers, now all graphic design work is done digitally. Adobe is the main program used by graphic designers today. The three programs used by designers to develop projects are: Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. There are also two other programs that web developers use for motion graphics and those are: Flash and After Effects.
Illustrator is used for vector-based work and designers use this program to create logos or develop their own imagery. Photoshop is for raster-graphics editing and designers use this program for editing photographs. Photoshop replaces the need for a dark room, allowing the designer to manipulate and alter photographs digitally while still saving the original image. InDesign is a layout program used to create systems for multiple page documents. This program can create identical multi-page spreads for a more efficient production.
These programs have been extremely useful in developing the world of visual communication. However, they have also made authenticity more obsolete. With these kinds of programs, most design work, since the 1980’s, has a very digitally rendered feel to it and designs are easily copied. It is only recently that the design world has begun to return to a more personal aesthetic.
This article is an interview on the subject of changing technologies in design. Designers Chris Spooner, Eric Karjaluoto, T.R. Eisenberg and David Airey were asked a series of questions about the constantly changing world of technology and their take on what that means for the future of graphic design.
What I liked about this article was that the responses from the graphic designers were not what I expected. That being said, it was so encouraging to hear that designers working in the industry today still use fundamental design tools in their work. They are not caught up in being able to produce work based on the ever-developing technologies, but stick to the idea that creativity and knowledge of form building are the most important elements of a good graphic designer.
The designers really stressed that it is important to be knowledgeable of the new and developing technological advancements, just as it is important to be up to date on trends in the design industry, but that being able to use the programs and produce with them is not going to make or break a career. To these designers interviewed, they noted how although we are moving into a digital world, print will NEVER go out of style. They are discussed that being able to use a computer, or code, does not make you a designer. I found that extremely interesting and quite helpful. I feel like there is just an emphasis on being able to produce work digitally and keep up with all the new trends and technologies, but the truth is that being able to create a design or design concept and be original is the most valuable asset a designer can have.
Here are two examples of what is called “photomontage”. This was done with Photoshop. The designer has taken various photographs and fused them together to create a surreal composition.
Here is an example of what good and bad resolution looks like. For print based media images need to have a high resolution and be set to 300dpi. For web based work, images need to be set at 72dpi.