A Graphic Designer's Response 9.10.2016

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of this thought engaging symposium.

“Design is informed by technology.” – Simran Thadani

Practicality vs beauty

Need for immediate feedback; Today’s graphic designers typically do not have the luxury to take "painstaking time" to create a one-of-a-kind book or content. There’s a need and expectation for immediate feedback—you want me to respond right away (like now), instead of taking a lot of time to contemplate and think.

“The best contemporary books are those that fully embrace digital technology.” — Russell Maret

Resistance is futile—it will make you frustrated!

I will cover delights and the struggles of choosing and using typefaces as a contemporary designer.

“Constraints are good.”–Ken Botnick

My [brief] profession background

User interface artist

Information architecture, user interface, user experience and proprietary font system developed within the game engine; new to me was how to integrate time (animation) into design.

Work at Wellesley College

Design: love it or hate it.

Enhance the College’s visibility through cohesive visual communication and message—branding. Includes print and electronic (web/social media/videos);

Challenge of creating posters that are not traditionally posters (too much text)—first and foremost, a visual communicator

Identity Sytems

Look and feel
Consistent use of type and graphic elements (look) ; Art direction and conveying key messages of the client (feel)

The Symposium: Lessons Learned from the Renaissance Books

Trying to remember what I learned from the Renaissance books; unfortunately I forgot A LOT!

Contemplation and Reflection

Through the process of preparing for this presentation, I've had a chance to contemplate on what it is to be a graphic designer today—how do I, as a contemporary graphic designer, draw upon my knowledge of the history printed page design.

Design remains a collaborative process. Harmonious process of everyone working together towards a common goal.

[For me] the goal [of graphic design] is to communicate effectively through thoughtful problem solving—ultimately, to convey information / to tell a story that is aesthetically appropriate and pleasing.

Core principles of graphic design remain similar and arguably the same today as it was during the Renaissance—knowledge of typography, graphic form, visual system.

The digital space—typography renaissance.

Type case > digital files

What are [some of the] implications of technological advancement in graphic design?

(+/-) Digital font management—has it become more efficient?

(+/-) Proliferation of new and revival digital typefaces.

(+/-) Changing the way people read.

(+/-) Need everything instantly!

Alphabet variations

... and more.
FF Chartwell instructions
Immediate and auto update on graphics (web / reports).
"History, Typotheque’s Multi-Layer Type System, was designed by Peter Bilak and released in 2008. The typeface is based on a skeleton of Roman inscriptional capitals, and includes 21 layers inspired by the evolution of typography. These elements span a wide variety of type catagories including humanist renaissance, transitional, baroque, script, early grotesque, 19th century vernacular and digital. These 21 independent typefaces share widths and other metric information so that they can be recombined. Thus, History has the potential to generate infinite combinations of typographic styles." source: https://www.typotheque.com/articles/the_history_of_history
http://abcdefridays.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-layers-of-history.html

Form / Platform

paper & screen; paper vs. screen; paper = screen

Expectation is to have content readable on both print and on every digital platform. Issues to solve is harder on smaller screens (as small as a wearable smart watch). Type designers need to pay attention to how digital typefaces display on screens—they need to create fonts that are legible on various screens [more laborious for type designers].

Fonts for print is different than fonts for screen. As of now, most digital platform vector fonts get rasterized. Programming is required to make fonts look as close to its original design. Not all fonts look good in all sizes. "Optical sizes" to be created.

Users gained the ability to scale a font for any setting, but lost the type maker’s size-specific optimizations. This newfound freedom altered the typeface’s intended appearance and, in many cases, its integrity. Fonts made for small text looked clunky and inelegant when enlarged. Fonts made for headlines became anemic and unreadable when reduced for body. [http://typographica.org/typography-books/size-specific-adjustments-to-type-designs/]

UI / UX

user interface and user experience

I find it easier to predict user experience when setting type for a book or printed work. The book will be read from a certain distance, and that [depending on the typeface], the size of the font should be [normally] set between [~10 point and 14 points]. If you can't read it, get reading glasses.
Blame the designer, if you can't read.

Harder to predict size/form, reading distance and aspect ratio of electronic devices.

Design should be responsive and adaptive.

What do you prefer?

Books as printed on paper or e-readers? What about "newspaper" or "snackable" content? Are screens better for them? What determines your preference? Tactile/haptic? Gestures?

Are graphic designers responsible for readers' behaviors—setting standards for not only the amount of content but how that content SHOULD be read? How often do trends change? How often do we, as readers, need to change the way we read content?

Mobile Design Trends

Lessons from Renaissance books (core principles of typography are applied to all design work)—designer needs to understand the importance of micro and macro typography. Still needs to work with making decisions on typographic details (micro) to ensure legibility and, how the text should be arranged (macro) on a page/screen.

Consideration for lean design—fast loading times, flat graphics, brief content.

UI gestures

Users demand more!

Content and design alone is no longer enough to keep users feel connected and interested. To keep users engaged, designers need to come up with "surprises" that are almost invisible to users. They are essentially messages or technically speaking, a single task-based engagement. They are called micro-interactions. They are meant to quickly communicate status or feedback; visualize the result of an action, and help user manipulate something on the screen. [source: www.uxpin.com]

Slack [real time messaging, file sharing, one-to-one and group conversation, integration with other apps]

More social = less social

Definition of "social" is evolving. More social engagement on the digital world is demanded and encouraged. People want to share; they want to play multiplayer games; they want to be connected. Digital world redefines social connections.

What's next?

Thank you!

September 10, 2016

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