Graphic design is not a new concept. People have been creating their own designs for almost as long as the human race has existed. However, the term “graphic design” was first used in the 1920s. At the time it referred to the sketching of designs by hand, but much has changed in almost a century of time that has passed since then.
Today, graphic design isa much sought after career, with design and multimedia courses gaining a lot of interest. The use of digital tools is the exception not the rule, as technology has created a whole new world of opportunity for graphic designers.
The start of the computer revolution
The world of graphic design first started to change drastically with the computer revolution of the1980s. Although the very first computers were built as far back as the 19th century, it was not until the 1980s that they became readily available to everyone.
The introduction of Windows in 1985 meant that the bold and block graphics of the era could be created far more easily. You only needed to click a few times to produce some colourful graphics. This was also the decade when MacPaint was first available, allowing for more fluid digital designing.
The revolution continued into the 1990s with the introduction of Photoshop which could only be used on a Macintosh computer at that time. Considering the way we take tools likePhotoshop for granted today, it’s hard to belie that they have been in existence for such a short period of time.
Increased power in the world of graphic design
As the new millennium began, so the power of graphic design tools increased. The world of design went fully mobile as the smartphone came to life. This meant that designers needed to start thinking of ways to make sure that user experience was of an equally high standard no matter which device was being used. This was a whole new frontier for graphic designers; one that they readily embraced.
Graphic Design Today
Moving on to the world of graphic design that we see today, it’s hard to imagine that we were ever without the advanced technology that exists. As with the smart devices that have begun to dominate our lives, we take digital technology for granted. We also see trends in graphic design developing that would not have seemed possible just a few decades ago.
The rise in the use of mobile devices has meant that designers have had to rethink the way they create logos. If a brand is to have a consistent face to the public, it’s logo needs to look the same whether being viewed on a smartphone or a laptop. This is why responsive logos have become such an important feature of modern graphic design.
Animation and GIFs
Animations and GIFs are popular across the Internet, especially as they are adopted by users of social media channels such as Facebook. They are a popular tool as they can improve customer interaction with a brand and are useful for guiding visitors to complete tasks on a website. The use of animation and GIFs are currently one of the biggest UX trends across the globe.
Custom graphic Design
For the last decade, the rise in readily available affordable stock graphics and images has led to a decrease in the demand for custom graphic design. However, this is changing. As businesses realise the value that custom design can add to their web presence, they are becoming more likely to invest. This investment brings good returns as people become used to seeing stock images across the Internet, and look for a brand that presents a more unique and authentic image.
It remains to be seen if these trends will remain at the forefront of graphic design in years to come. Technology advances at such a pace that it’s hard to tell how it will further transform the world of graphic design. It’s likely that many of these advances will be aimed at creating a more individual experience for customers. Internet users have become so used to the magic of modern graphics that they are only likely to be truly impressed if design elements are more personal to them.
Given that UX is at the centre of all web development and design today, graphic design is just part of the bigger picture. Analytics and tools such as geo location, enable businesses to get to know who their customers are, and to use modern technology to create a more personal experience when those customers visit a website. Will it belong before graphics are different for different people as standard, in order to reflect their personal preferences? We will have to wait and see.