Graphic and Media Design.
Like many others I first impression towards Art is simply drawing and painting on a canvas. I used to consider graphic design as “doing art digitally and conveniently”, which I can freely create pieces without many consequences and less time-consuming. Throughout the years participating in media communication I have realised that graphic design is far beyond aesthetics, Its versatility, functionality, and applicability exceed my narrow-mind expectation when I first approached the field.
With little experience in my early period, I could only correlate visual design with simple posters and billboards. Back in high school, my portfolio was stuffed with posters and illustrations. It soon came to my attention that graphic design is far more than working on big papers, I became curious about the design of books, logos, packaging, and signs. Growing up in a city, I was surrounded by billboards and commercials, in any form and size. Visual communication is everywhere in my environment. I saw the potential and need for graphic design, I was delighted by its diversification and how it can be applied in a different area. With that admiration, I knew I would go for graphic design for my future studies. I found visual communication more challenging and entertaining than expected, meanwhile being practical as well.
Even tho graphic design is mainly exercised for generating profits in the market, but it can also be interpreted in different ways and not simply about pleasing visuals. One of my favourite book of all time –––– “Rebranding x Consumption Jungle” by Tommy Li, suggests that visual design can be a powerful tool not only for telling messages but also an act of responding to the society, sculpting an ideal environment in favour of people and luring them to behave in certain ways, such as consumerism. I was inspired by his view on how design is plays its role in the society, teaching me that creativity is not the only ladder to great design, it requires a huge amount of background research, years of practice and knowledge. Above all, it is the willingness to take risk for innovations.
To design great pieces, practical skills for software and equipment are fundamental. Quite often I have difficulties in delivering concepts though my pieces due to poor production skill. Basic skills for equipment and machines are essential for design, but making a great design requires our cumulative skill and aesthetics. Some of the practices even include an understanding of psychology, behavioral sciences and more, which are far beyond basics but necessary to create a cohesive and well-rounded outcome. Everyone can be a designer, what draws the line in-between the good and bad ones are our senses. Design is not solely a progress but also a life style, a combination of our interpretation, skills, value and insights.
One thing which keeps me motivated in the field is its unpredictability. Back in the days' graphic design is most likely about editorial and printmaking. After the rise of touch screen devices, there is an increase in demand for user interface design for websites and applications. Now with the advance of technology, people are craving digital content, the form of graphic design is so diverse that I never stop searching for new insights. Back in my first year, I discovered our society are spending more time on screens and hoping to get more information within a shorter time, I saw the potential of motion graphics for the future. Moving images give a stronger elaboration of ideas and a bigger possibility to show more, allowing me to establish new ideas with the latest technology. During my internships at ROSE, by showcasing my skill in producing moving images, the team is astonished when they realised how their work can be presented dynamically, having an alternative way to promote, display and illustrate their views on different projects.
There are voices talking about the use of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Forums are discussing how images can be created to help to navigate systems by blending content into reality, which involves a few understanding of psychology. Graphic design always finds its way to compromise and transform with new eras, showcasing its unique value and function by expending its application. And being a designer it is an entertainment for me to be part of this process and evolvement.
I get exposed to billboards and commercials all the time, and I used to wonder how some of them appear to be more attractive. Something was triggering my senses but yet unable to articulate clearly. With the skill and knowledge I learned over the years in the field, I started to see things differently. I started studying the structure and factors of every publications from the newspaper’s layout to billboards, I see them not only as texts and images, I wish to understand the purpose of every decision made on the pieces. By understanding the secrets lie behind every design, I have become more aware and sensitive to my surroundings, gathering different inspirations bit by bit to generate new ideas and outcomes. Looking at things differently helps me to become a more creative person and maintain my curiosity, which I believe will have a tremendous impact not only on my practices in graphic design but also the way I appreciate my lifestyle as well.
The practice of graphic design builds a virtual bridge between my creativity and the physical world, allowing me to express my ideas through medias which are sophisticated and commercially effective. Being astonished by how responsive the creative industry is, studying in the field always reminds me of how active I should be pushing the boundary not only of myself but also the possibility of the future community.