Graphic design entails crafting and presentation of ideas, information by visual and textual content. Often referred to as communication design, Graphics design applications cuts across major industries, deployed as a tool for corporate branding, product promotion and marketing. A lot has really changed over the years due to technological evolution and advancement, the most impactful change being the advent of Macintosh computer by Apple in 1984. A look at the degree of impact; Graphics design was majorly done by hand in the early 1900, but this computer transformed the entire process of Graphics and design in ways never imagined in the past. It used to take a long period of time to create a good design because of the huge workload such as sketching, actual drawing and editing. With the introduction of the computer, graphic designers were now able to create digitally. It made the work a lot easier. Tasks that could have taken weeks to complete could now be done and shipped to the client within hours. Other important advancement that revolutionized graphic design include the introduction of a printer and the internet. This paper looks at the various technological advancements that have disrupted the industry in the past and their effects. It also focuses on the current affairs of graphic design and what we can expect in the future.
The year 1984 was a land mark year in terms of technological advancement. It is during this year that the late Steve Jobs introduced the world to the Macintosh computer. Although it was not the first personal computer to the manufactured, it is credited with the introduction of Graphical User Interface to the common man (Horwath). A graphical User interface is a medium through which a user could interact with a computer. Its introduction to the world had a huge effect on graphic design. The Macintosh enabled users to create designs using the computer for the first time. Before the Macintosh, computers were large data processing units used only by large corporations to process and store data. The first personal computer was introduced by IBM but at a retail price of ten thousand dollars, it was too costly for the common man (The Macintosh). Therefore, when Steve introduced the Macintosh four years later, it was hugely welcomed. Before the Macintosh, graphic designs were created by hand through drawing on pieces of paper. It used to take a lot of time to complete one design but when the Macintosh came to the scene, it significantly reduced the amount of time. It also reduced the distance between design and shipping to the client. Before the Macintosh, clients had to collect designs physically from their designer’s office or the post office. However, computers allowed designs to be sent through email through email.
The development of the internet also revolutionized graphic design. It made it possible for clients to communicate their ideas to designers without having to physically go to their offices. This could now be done through email. The internet also allowed designers to work from other places apart from their offices. Designers could now work from home, recreational centers and even while on vacation. The introduction of the internet also had a huge effect on the labor force. It enabled more and more people to learn graphic design because it was now possible to learn online without having to attend graphic design schools (Horwath).
The internet also opened up a lot of business opportunities for designers. Before the dot com era, graphic designer jobs were limited. This is because they could only design physical banners, logos and brochures. However, the development of the internet introduced other kind of products that translated to more money making opportunities for graphic designers. The new products included websites, digital banners and brochures (Nocross). The development of the internet also made it easier for professional and new designers to access important software through online purchases and free downloads.
Graphic design is currently more developed than before. There are new faster ways of designing and editing, both software and hardware, than ever before. Again, Apple is at the center of it. Currently, graphic designers prefer apple products when designing to any other products in the market. This is because they are powerful and faster than most available devices. The introduction of the tablet is phenomenal in graphic design. It has made is easier to sketch and draw. This is because it is easier and faster to design on a touch screen tablet than using a mouse on a computer. It is also more portable than a desk top computer.
There are also more graphic design software in the market now than they were ten years ago. However, there are five of them that are readily available are mostly used by designers. Example include Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Dreamweaver and complementary software such as PowerPoint. Graphic designers now use Adobe Dreamweaver to make, edit and manage websites. They use Adobe Photoshop to edit pictures and Adobe InDesign to create and design all kinds of visuals. It is becoming the new standard desktop publishing software. Designers also used Adobe Illustrators for creating vector images.
Designers used PowerPoint to present their presentations to their clients in meetings (Graphical design). Computer Aided Design (CAD) is also a must have for designers. It is mainly used by architects and engineers to make precise illustration and measurements (Zenasni). The introduction of this software and their continual improvement have had both positive and negative impacts. First of all, they have made graphic design easier and faster when compared to older methods f designing such as hand drawing. They have also added depth in color schemes that was not previously available. Advancement in software has also led to better quality of products (Neely).
On the flip side, these software have led to the increase in half-baked graphic designers. This is because publishers post articles and tutorials on how to use them and so people nowadays prefer to watch them instead of enrolling in graphic design schools. The software have also led to
Less working opportunities for professional designers. This is because instead of entrepreneurs turning to professional designers for logos and other kinds of graphical branding, they now make their own amateur logos from their homes.
Virtual reality is also another important development in graphical design. It has opened more opportunities for graphic designers. It has also led to milestone technological developments that have completely transformed three dimensional experience. I
Going forward, we can only expect more and more technology development in graphical design. In the next few years, virtual reality will be perfected. Three dimensional devices will be more common than they are right now. Graphic design will also be very deeply integrated with Artificial Intelligence. We can also look forward to more and more video games that will employ virtual reality. We should also expect a huge number of amateur graphic designers as more software and hardware become more available. We also expect more filters in photo and media sharing websites such as Facebook and Instagram.
In conclusion, graphic design has seen some landmark technological advancement in the past with the major ones being the introduction of the Macintosh computer in 1984 and the development of internet. Presently, there are more graphic design software than ever before mainly published by Adobe. The most commonly used are Adobe Photoshop, Adobe illustrator, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Dreamweaver. Going forward, we are going to see more technological advancement in this industry. We will also see graphic design fully integrated in Artificial Intelligence.
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