Michael Hollahan
Changing Design Times

Reading time: 2 minutes

Us graphic designers are always on the lookout for the newest tech in the biz that can help improve the work we do. Sean and Michael are gonna walk you through some of the huuuge changes in design over the years, and how it informs the biz climate in the present!

“Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”

As graphic designers, we are always looking for ways to improve what we do day-to-day and how much we can do; it’s a personal challenge that we issue to ourselves every day. We want to be more efficient, while never sacrificing quality.

Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production explores the introduction and evolution of this need, and the tools we have developed (and continue to develop) that help us achieve these goals. It’s been roughly 30 years since desktop publishing has been a major catalyst to revolutionize this industry, and this documentary offers interviews from experienced people who have played major roles in this rapid, industry-wide transition.

“A Change Would Do You Good”

The driving force behind this evolution of late has been technology.

In the days before computers, a simple print ad would need an army of people to bring it to life. This design process would typically involve a graphic artist, a typesetter, a production artist, and a photographer to bring a single design to print-ready quality. That’s four hands to complete just the aesthetic side of the ad!

The rise of the computer saw the first step away from the physical pasteboard into the digital pasteboard. Now, a single designer can handle this whole process from start to finish. If you consider where we came from, that’s sort of crazy!

This transition was the beginning of “what you see is what you get” interface for design tools.

Now, you can see what your type setting looks like before press-proofing, and you can even change colour, fonts, alignment, and contrast on the fly. Can you imagine what the first graphic designers would think if they saw our current technology?!

“Here’s to the Past”

As we begin to tire of digital designs, we think it’s reasonable to expect a return to more traditional means of creating artwork.

Linocut and block printing are huge on indie marketplaces around the internet, and letterpress business cards are sought after for that traditional, hand-made look.

“Influence of Atmosphere”

This spring has really been a great time to be a designer in St. John’s. Not only did Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production get us thinking about our history, but later this month Art of Influence with Terry O’Reilly, Ted Blades, and host Vicki Murphy is taking over the Arts and Culture Centre in partnership with The Designers. Will we see you there?

Thanks, b’ys! History in ANY industry needs to be understood to continue to grow. Identify what we did right, recognize and own what we did wrong, and never stop searching to create our own creative evolution. That’s what’ll be celebrated this weekend at The Art of Influence — don’t miss it!

 

Are you working on your creative evolution? Reach out — we’d love to be part of it.

 

Looking forward,

Dc

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