With technology adapting in order to cater for our modern lifestyles, the way think is also changing. Is it the development and evolution of the human body that’s causing technology to advance, or is it the other way round (technology causing the human body to advance)?
As a designer who studied a more art-focused degree at university, I wanted to question the role of the ‘modern designer’. Being able to experience the “old school” ways of design application was something which I really enjoyed experimenting with uni, especially the print workshops I attended. Although wood-cut type and letterpress sound a bit of a boring subject, this was the original way of publishing (or printing) text and shows how things have changed over the centuries with the way we work. The old methods used to be much more engaging, interactive and manual, requiring a different type of skill and many more man hours.
With the invention of computer technology and the word processor, the world of design, advertising and print changed dramatically. Moving forward in time to the late 80s, early 90s, the advancement of technology was apparent – the invention of the internet was to change the way we all lived, presumably for the better.
If I needed to search for something when I was young, a trip to the library was required – but today, I reach for the mobile phone and ask Google (or Alexa, if she’s around). Things have transformed for the designer too. Originally, a trip to the typesetter was required for a newspaper ad, now though, I flip up the laptop, open InDesign and the set the type myself.
Admittedly, It’s taken me years to learn the full array of tools in Adobe creative suite InDesign – and the tiny details you can apply to text, all with original names such as leading, tracking etc, all applied to the old ways of setting type. I quite like this feature as it brings the traditional elements into the modern way of working. Where before we were physically moving lead type, we now push a mouse (or tap a touchpad). Realistically thinking, the modern designer is not so hands on as “back in the day”, but the tools are still there, just in digital form.
It seems like, over the course of 50 years, the way we live and work has massively transformed; A huge reduction in the amount of labour required within the business world, and modern ‘conveniences’ such as mobile technology is now available to pretty much everyone. What does the future hold for the design industry? No one knows I guess (they haven’t invented time travel yet), but with augmented reality advancing (VR headsets as an example), will our computers also think for us – and potentially design for us?
Another area of design which is also developing constantly is 3D printing. With now the opportunity to buy desktop 3D printers, it gives way to custom fabrication and home-computer generated sculptures. Imagine where we could be 100 years down the line – printing our own electric cars from our homes? …who knows!
The human mind is constantly evolving, meaning that technology and the way we live is also constantly developing and advancing. You could argue that things were much simpler ‘back in the day’, and sure, they might have been. But, the development of technology has meant so many great things, such as finding cures and prevention for diseases, increased production rates in all areas of business and manufacturing, and the ability to bring hand held, intelligent tech to the masses.
Really, the question “Is technology helping or hindering our industry?” is a bit of a rhetorical question; one with no correct or incorrect answer. In my eyes, the creative industry seems to be split between ‘the thinking’ and ‘the generating’, and there seems to be positives and negatives on both sides.
- We can now process our thoughts quicker using tech, translating them into a digitally outputted product
- Designers have the ability to share their ideas, and build upon their own using stock photography and paste board websites such as Pinterest
- Some people argue that technology has devalued the human experience
- Technology has meant that the production of most everyday items has been transformed. Mass production and digital printing has meant more bang for the buck.
- The speed in which products can be made, printed, delivered (logistics) is way beyond what we were experiencing only 25 years ago.
- Digital production and speedy tech-aided delivery means less workforce, and fewer man-hours – not so good for the traditional processes/nostalgic supporters of the creative industry
As with everything in life, we have to grab the positives and hold onto them – the creative industry is changing – as with every working industry. Whether it’s for the good or the bad depends on what you do for a living, what you support, and where your morals lie. That, I shall leave for you to decide.
This blog was written by Iain Quarmby – Founder of Bucks Creative in Milton Keynes, UK. It’s my first full-length blog so hope you have enjoyed reading. If you’d like to learn more about what we do check out the links below. Our portfolio has only recently been updated so things are still a bit blank, so if there’s something in particular you’d like help with or would like to learn more about, drop us a line.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. This blog post is a part of a Blogging Competition organised by CGTrader. More information can be found here. Thanks
Why do I need things designing?
Being a graphic designer isn't just about making things look pretty. Handing over a document of solid text to someone can make the reading of their 'important' and relevant information a laborious task (as a result, they glaze over). So, our job is to add creativity and consistency into your projects to make them stand out from your competitors.
Feeding the brain with good design
So, the job of the designer, in our eyes anyway, is to make 'laborious' text easy and enjoyable to read. Bite size chunks of information, digestible by the brain, are in turn more likely to be absorbed by the brain. It's about creating a readable, functional piece of 'art'.
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