June 5, 2013

The Digital Revolution of Design

The Loop > Magazine > Issue 3

By Eva Giselle

Design is changing. The first individuals to call themselves graphic designers used printing presses to mass-produce posters, layouts, labels, and flyers with the purpose of elegantly communicating information or an idea. It was a one-way dialogue. A person was meant to view the design and—if it was effective—digest whatever it was trying to communicate.

Designers today have the addition of abstract, digital mediums—things that are meant to exist on a digital plane and not necessarily a physical one. Websites, apps, software, video games, car interfaces, ATMs, all manner of consoles—even the high-end vending machines of today require the work of a designer.

But it isn’t the medium of digitality that has revolutionized design—pixels are just another type of ink that we use to convey an idea. What’s new and different about these digital platforms is that they respond to us according to our specific needs.

The digital revolution of design is this: designers are no longer designing a one-way communication; we are designing a two-way interactive dialogue between a person and a technology. We are literally facilitating the relationship between man and machine.

Talking with our Tools

Tools are what make us human. When the first early hominid picked up a rock and thought to bash it against another rock, a relationship was born between man and tool that fundamentally changed the way we developed. We evolved alongside our tools, standing upright to free our hands for tinkering, while our brains grew larger to think up more creative ways to use objects for our benefit.

We live at an exciting point on the timeline of our species.

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