The graphic design industry has grown over the years and has become a highly profitable industry in the 21st century. Graphic design has been used in creation of web sites, publication of newspapers, magazines and books, branding and creation of logos (Heller & Balance, 59). Graphic design uses visual arts, typography and page layout techniques to combine images, words and symbols to produce a visual illustration of messages and ideas. This paper will attempt to bring to light the specialization and evolution of the graphic design industry (Heller & Balance, 44).
After the Second World War, America developed a greater interest in the graphic design industry especially in the advertising and packaging industry. Examples are Adrian Frutiger and Paul Rand who applied principles of graphic design in the mid- 20th century in creating of advertisement and logo designs. They became the pioneers of corporate identity which is a sub-set of graphic design (Heller & Balance, 59). Graphic designers have become part of the team that works on branding projects and corporate identity (Heller & Balance, 62).
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Evolution of the Graphic Design Industry
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Graphic design is an area that has grown and is still advancing to greater heights. Diverse aspects and skills have been developed in graphic design over the years which have facilitated specialization in various fields in graphic design. Visual Arts is one of the aspects of graphic design. Before graphic elements are used to enhance a design, the elements must first be made original through use of visual art skills (C, Fiell & P, Fiell, 63). Visual arts comprise works that are visual in nature created by use of photography or traditional media.
This has led to creation of a sub-sector in graphic design that exclusively deals in visual arts. With the arrival of the computer age, visual art works can be created through computers (computer generated art). Jobs such as graphic designing, specialized photography have been developed from visual art skills and the field is still expanding (C, Fiell & P, Fiell, 63). Typography is another aspect of graphic design that has advanced over the years. It refers to the art and techniques of type design and arrangement of characters.
This process involves selection of appropriate line spacing, typefaces, letter spacing among others. Before the digital age, typography was by itself a specialized occupation. Digitization expanded typography to a new era of lay users and visual designers. Typography is done by typesetters, typographers, graphic artists, art directors, compositors and clerical workers (C, Fiell & P, Fiell, 65). Another aspect of graphic design is page layout which deals with the arrangement of content on a page, it includes text layout, style and image placement.
This process has become very important in modern printed material. Modern catalogues and magazines require structured page designs which attract readers. Graphic designers have grown in demand in the publishing industries over the years (C, Fiell & P, Fiell, 59). With the arrival of computer software development and the World Wide Web, graphic designers have gotten involved with interface design. Interface design includes web and software designs. Graphic designers often work with web and software developers to enhance the interactivity of the web site browser.
Consumer interaction has become very important with the growing competitive nature of world wide business. Web sites which attract customers get more clients; this has created opportunities for graphic web designers who constantly adjust and create web designs for companies which suite the clients needs (Heller & Balance, 107). Icon design is another aspect of interface design which is currently in use. In software application, it may refer to flat and simple 2D drawing or a complex combination of elements of radial and linear color gradients, contour shades, projected shadows and 3D effects.
3D graphics are widely in use in the entertainment industry, they are used in the making of movies and animations in the 21st century (C, Fiell & P, Fiell, 67). In the mid 1980s, there was the advent of graphic software application and desktop publishing introducing a new generation of designers to the field of computer image creation and manipulation which previously required manual execution (Heller & Balance, 106). Graphic design by use of computers makes it possible for designers to see effects of typographical changes and also simulate the effects of traditional media with economical use of space.
In earlier days of the advent of computer publishing, traditional designers depended on computer production artists to generate their ideas from sketches, without the need to learn computer skills. However, this has become less common since the arrival of desktop publishing (Heller & Balance, 99). Unlike, in the 20th century, the computer in the 21st century is considered an important tool in graphic design. Software application and computers are considered by professionals to be more effective than methods such as, drawing, making sculptures and printmaking.
However, some critics argue that computers compromise creativity and stick to manual methods of production. Graphic design covers a wide spectrum of career paths that require creativity in arrangement of visual elements in some kind of media. It covers such jobs as graphic designer, art director, production artist and creative director. It also covers such specialized skills such as photography, sculpture molding and drawing (Heller & Balance, 102). In conclusion, graphic design requires a great deal of creativity, judgment, critical observation and analytic thinking.
The field of Graphic design has changed a lot over the years and it seems that it will keep developing at a fast rate; therefore designers should appreciate and try to incorporate traditional methods of design so as not to lose originality of their designs. Works Cited Fiell, Charlotte, & Fiell, Peter. Contemporary Graphic Design. Cologne: Taschen Gmbh Publishers, 2006 Heller, Steven & Balance, Geogette, Graphic design history. New York: Allworth Press Publishers, 2001
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