Friday, August 7, 2015

The New Design Method

Back before the advent of computers, all design was done by hand. Countless iterations, the likes of which we could now move through with a few swift strokes of a keyboard, were slugged through in a matter hours or days. Before the rise of the digital age, design was only produced for print. There was no worry of screen sizes and responsiveness, what you saw was what you got.

The print medium was by the paper, of the paper, and for the paper. These days it's a little more complicated.

Having been too young to have witnessed the world back then, I can only go on what I've heard and estimations to really get a feel for what that must have been like. These days, the process is so different that it's pretty much unrecognizable from what it was then. Not only do we have a whole language of words with which to describe the digital process of creating design, but we also have a whole slew of devices that look virtually unrecognizable from the tools we used before.

But more than any of that, the main difference between the world before the digital age and now is the way we approach the process of design. When once we would use paper and pencils to iterate and research, we now use the computer. These days, I find the process of making design (whether it be for digital or print media) to be more of a digital nature than it is of a print nature. No matter the final purpose, a business card or a piece of custom type or a drawing, things that once began with a hand-to-paper motion are now made almost completely from a computer screen.

It's kind of an interesting phenomenon, if you think about it. It's quite clear (at least to me) that any kind of creative process naturally suffers without the use of analog mark-making at least somewhere in the process. As humans, I believe that we crave that simple activity to get the creative juices flowing. So, even though we openly believe that the advent of technology is the best method to solving any design problem regardless of media, all of these 'quirky' or 'tongue-in-cheek' analog methods that are creeping back in are just a sign of the process righting itself.

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