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Graphic design vs. the smartphone

November 12, 2015 by Klaus

Rapidly changing technology is one of the things that have made graphic design so exciting over the last few decades.

In the 1980s, there were few high quality software programs to create concepts, whereas nowadays we have an entire suite of choices over a wide spectrum of applications – allowing for new creative concepts and a deeper delivery of work.

And because of this, brands need to be mindful of how they’re viewed across multiple platforms – both in big, bold print mediums and in the digital world. Good brand design focuses on elevating a brand above the crowd.

But even though the technology used to create brand designs is important, what’s more important is the technology used to view these brand designs. To consider that, we don’t need to look back 25 years, we only need to look back at how much consumer habits have changed in the last five years.

Websites and the Internet in general has been a major player for brands for years. But, in the last several years, the digital world has changed from large screen computer monitors to small screen smartphones and tablets. And the flashy web designs that looked fabulous five years ago don’t transfer well to a smartphone.

Because to view a website on a smartphone, you can’t simply take the same design used on a billboard (or on a flashy website) and basically shrink it down. You need to think more strategically, responsively and creatively to find a way to tie the brand seen on a billboard to that same brand seen on a smartphone. (Remember the tips in the previous blog post for creating a brand design that stands out in a crowd? Cross platform application is where you really get to put that advice into practice.)

In an ironic sort of way, the robust technology to create anything we could ever want is now available, but when it comes to digital design, creatives are showing restraint and returning to their simplified roots in terms of visual manifestation.

So, how has responsive web design impacted digital communications? Visually! The visual acrobatics of past websites are toning down to simpler, cleaner looks. Colour is now being used in a consistent way and typography is being examined for cross platform functionality.

At the end of the day, changes in professional technology has allowed graphic designers to create bold and exciting stuff, while at the same time changes in consumer technology has provided the refreshing counter-balance to remain media smart.