Technology plays a large role in today’s society and increasingly so since the pandemic. We have seen the importance of technology when it comes to social issues and how social media is used to connect communities but today I will be exploring how technology has impacted the graphic design industry. In a time where there is a seamless flow of information as well as a constant need for personalization, the design industry is in a possible state of human replacement. Is there a need for bespoke pieces of communication? I am fascinated in how designers have manifested these antithetical ways of working into their design processes resulting in work that is mechanical, and hand driven, systematic and humane. How do systematic processes and templates manifest themselves in brand identities which revolve around emotion and the visual connection? In the electronic focused environment, we live in today there is a constant search for new graphic languages that bridge art and technology. Paul Mcneil and Hamish Muir also known as MuirMcNeil are graphic designers who push the boundaries in creating typefaces from original forms and patterns. Generated from mathematical systems their distinctive modular style exists in the brand identities of Typecon and London College of Communication as well as collaborating with Eye magazine to produce a set of 8,000 unique covers. Graphic Designer and typographer Phillipe Apeloig states ‘If you want to bring an emotional dimension into the work it’s interesting not throw yourself into technology but to really do something that you can do with your hands this suggests web-sites such as Brandmark that generate logos lack the emotional connection of that brand. Therefore, it is questionable that the templates used on these sites are incapable to contextualize designs that are perceived as humane, this is significantly important in the world of branding where brands are almost conceived to be ‘living’. Investigating the symbolic value of visual thinking in relationship to the need of bespoke communication. Muriel Cooper states ‘progress in designing intelligent interfaces for graphic design applications, such as electronic publishing and lustration, will depend on the application of symbolic programming techniques from artificial intelligence’ this could suggest that the developments in technology will result in human replacement of visual problem-solving activities such as book design. However one cannot ignore the essence and craftsmanship behind the thinking process of book design to which in this day is still highly demanded indicating its irreplaceability by machine. In the introduction of notes on book design by internationally renowned graphic designer Derek Birdsall, he states ‘Book design is the process of discovery, guided by reading the contents of the page, studying the illustrations and captions and simply putting oneself in the position of the reader’ therefore proposes the idea that there is no such thing as generalisation in terms of layout. After reading Derek’s notes you understand very clearly how each book design derives from its content to where he constantly asks himself ‘Why this? Why that?’ The kind of visual thinking that one would believe could never be programmed into a computer.
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