The Key Developments In Graphic And Communication Design
Graphic and Communication design is an area of design that is continually progressing and modernizing as each decade passes, from when the modern printing press was first inventing to the advancement in modern day technology and everything in between. This essay will analyze 3 key developments within this area of design.
The first and probably the most important key development within graphic design is the technological advancement, more specifically within the last 20 years. The advancement of the computer and laptop, the invention of the internet and the creation of design specific programs like the Adobe suite have all played a key role in modernizing graphic design, but how have these affected graphic design as a whole? The invention of the internet changed the way graphic designers were able to work, it allowed designers to share their work with the world with online portfolio’s and allowed people to view other designers work. This opens up a lot more opportunity for a designer to get noticed unlike previously were it might have been more difficult to share work with a wide audience. This large amounts of work published online also makes it much easier for designers to look for inspiration, with a simple search on the internet gives a designer access to thousands of different and unique designs to get inspired from, rather than having to scroll through different design books. Probably the biggest technological advancement that has improved graphic design is communication, being able to communicate to clients and other designers through community forums, social networks and emails allows a designer to communicate with a client much more efficiently with the designer being able to simply send an email rather than having to schedule a phone call or an in person meeting. Whilst all these developments have significantly improved the way graphic and communication design is able to function, there have been negative effects from these developments. The most problematic issue for designers in the modern technological world is plagiarism, with designers having to take legal action to stop other people from stealing their work and claiming/using it for themselves without recognition. One popular case was the Lara Jade Coton/TDX case, were Lara had uploaded a photo to an online artwork community for public viewing, yet her image was taken and used on the cover of a pornography DVD, this sparked a long legal battle to claim damages and most importantly, stop the company from using her image without permission. Graphic and communication design as a whole has improved from the technological changes it has experienced within the last few decades, although the modern graphic design world still has a lot it can improve and enhance to make it more efficient, the current resources graphic designers have access to allows more opportunity and more ways to enhance their creativity. Technology will continue to take over our everyday lives as we move forward into the future, graphic design will continue to adjust to these changes and designers will adapt to make there interactions and creations more efficient, unique and inspiring.
Another key development within graphic and communication design is the patterns of consumption and consumer behaviour. The advancement of graphic design has allowed designers to be able to manipulate the way shoppers buy products, subsequently effecting consumer behaviour by using packaging designs to increase brand familiarity and incorporating sustainability trends to gain consumer confidence in the product they are purchasing. For a graphic designer to successfully design for a consumer, they must create material that is aesthetically pleasing for the viewer but also organising the content in a way that the viewer knows exactly what they are looking at. If the contents are aesthetically pleasing yet have no way of communicating to the consumer the message or product behind that design, the consumer will lose trust in the product and most likely be disheartened to purchase itю
“Don’t use design techniques to create prettiness, but use them to create usefulness. Design helps you serve your audience. They want their information fast and clearю” (White, 2003, p, 485).
Making sure the design of a product or advertisement correctly communicates to the consumer is one very important aspects of graphic and communication design, yet another development is for designers to follow trends in product and packaging design. Keeping up with the latest trends in design helps keep a product relevant and unique to consumers, making it more desirable than products with older styled packaging, this can be seen with Coca-Cola’s recent change of packaging, making every single bottle have a unique and different design. This gave the consumer a sense of individuality with the brand and having a one of a kind product that no one else owns, thus making it more desirable for people to purchase a Coca-Cola product over another drink. Another trend that has become increasingly popular is sustainability, products that have packaging that promotes the sustainability of the product and how eco-friendly it can be for the environment gives the consumer a sense of satisfaction and contribution therefore making these products more desirable that regularly packaged designs. Graphic and Communication design has been effecting the way consumer’s buy products for decades, these current trends have positively affected consumers shopping habits, with sustainability and individuality being two impacting elements on the modern day consumer. The future of graphic and communication design in relation with consumer behaviour will largely depend on the current and future trends, although the importance of the design itself does play a part in whether a consumer will purchase a product, knowing the target audience and being able to communicate to the consumer why that specific brand is more unique or better than other brands will subsequently make a product sell better than something that just has aesthetically pleasing looks.
Graphic design and Communication has also affected consumers shopping habits with the birth of online shopping, with 1.92 Billion online buyers in 2019 and expect to increase in the following years. Graphic designers are faced with the challenge of providing a customer with an experience in a virtual world meaning designers must using the correct layouts, visual cues and are able to grab a customerэs attention quickly and efficiently. Visual hierarchy is also a very important aspect graphic designers must incorporate in a web store, being able to draw the customers attention to specific details on the website and making the under interface easy to navigate. Visual hierarchy plans a large role depending on who your target audience is, if the website is target at an older audience then designers need to acknowledge that not everyone will know how to use technology as well as a younger audience. Although graphic designers are more challenged to make their business stand out against the many online stores that have risen throughout the years, the shopping experience for the modern day consumer has changed drastically, especially over the last decade. Online shopping has made the shopping experience for consumers much more efficient and inviting, with convenient features such as the quick look, virtual change rooms, live chat and free/express shipping on certain orders. These techniques incorporated with appealing and efficient communication design tie in the shopping experience between the user and the interface and although the consumer does not have the same face-to-face interaction as they would in a store, the shopping experience that consumers receive is much more personal and tailor made to them compared to what they would receive in a store. Technology is also able to track consumer behaviour and give people suggestions as to what they might like to buy, although this might seem like a useful feature, it can be used to manipulate shoppers and encourage to buy items that they might not necessarily need. Although technology has been the biggest influence on shopping experience, graphic and communication design still play a large role in how consumers behaviours, how they interact with an interface and a consumers emotions and connection with certain brands. As technology continues to advance, consumer shopping habits will continue to shift from traditional face-to-face shopping to online shopping, meaning graphic designers will have to continue to introduce need techniques to efficiently communicate to consumers and attract there attention.
In conclusion, graphic and communication design has continued to develop over the years, with the technological advancements being the largest developing area for designers. The development and effect of graphic design in the consumer world has also changed how consumers interact and behave when it comes to shopping. Positive changes have come from this such as more personaliяed shopping experiences and more convenience, whilst some negatives have also arisen such as easier manipulation of consumers. Overall the development of graphic design as a whole has been beneficial to the disciplines mentioned above, the future of graphic design will continue to progress with more targeted and personal advertising and shopping experiences for consumers. Technology will also continue to develop with the recent introduction of 3D printing and portable tablets, designers will be able to work more efficiently whilst being mobile and the introduction to cloud storage, allowing designers to share there work more efficiently thus improving communication with clients.