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September 2012

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Can Graphic Design Change the World? Design graduates will need to be equipped with the skills for an evolving workplace, where

they are able to meet the design and communication challenges within client briefs.

Graduates of colleges will need to be equipped with the skills for within everyday life.

whats in No one will disagree with you that design has the power to change the world. And so does literature, philosophy, mathematics, science....Every profession has the power to change the world.

What is important is to build neutral respect and work collaboratively, not to toot our own horn. And I would like to believe that every designer will use their own moral judgment

to decide who to work with, or what projects to work on in order to make changes. We don't need an organization to tell us what is right or wrong.


8 nside

Evolving Expectations for Design Education

We are eager to have you join

this moment to encourage

this new AIGA for the next

a colleague, client or design

century, as AIGA approaches

enthusiast (or two) to join

its centennial. We also hope

AIGA and share in shaping

you will take advantage of

design’s future.

The New View of Graphic Design

The general characteristics of the strategic environment for design to which programs claiming student preparation for professional practice should respond. AIGA leaves the specific means of that response to the discretion of institutions but holds programs accountable for demonstrating curricular currency with the field. These characteristics impact various design specializations differently, which is reflected in their individual competencies.

AIGA leaves the specific means of that response to the discretion of institutions but holds programs accountable for demonstrating curricular currency with the field. These characteristics impact various design specializations differently, which is reflected in their individual competencies.

11 AIGA 3


Can Graphic Design

SAVE

Of course it can’t, says John Hudson; it’s a deliberately provocative question

T

he real question to be asked is whether designers, from all disciplines, can work smarter to lessen waste and the

negative impact our work can sometimes have.

To do that, though, we need the appropriate

skills, knowledge and understanding to apply a more responsible ethos to a design problem. Earlier this year I attended the Typo Berlin conference, the theme of which was sustainability within the context of design. I was there to talk about this issue within the context of design education, as my current research focus is where the responsibility of the designer begins and ends. For me, as a lecturer in graphic design, it begins with my students. The more informed they are, the greater their understanding of the issues surrounding responsible design, so the better their decision-making process will be

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throughout a brief.


E

REAL WO RLD

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the world Written by John Hudson

It makes sense for a new graduate to have these skills for a number of reasons: firstly, more corporations and big brands such as P&G, Unilever and Puma are placing greater focus on sustainability and corporate social responsibility within their business strategies. Design graduates will need to be equipped with the skills for an evolving workplace, where they are able to meet the design and communication challenges within client briefs. Secondly, as designers we make and design ‘stuff ’. We place things into the world, and it takes energy and resources to get them there, and sometimes the decisions we make in the creative process can have a direct impact on the society we live in. For example, £1 in every £3 of UK council tax is spent on the disposal of household waste, packaging, direct mail and designed ‘stuff ’, with some councils spending more on waste management than on educational budgets. The print industry is still one of the world’s largest polluters, yet we mindlessly throw away 4.7 million tons of fresh, unused paper every year in the UK due to poor decision-making. Living on a planet with finite resources means we have to work smarter in the future.

As an educator, it’s my aim to engage students with this subject – and that starts by facilitating a greater understanding of a set of complex issues that include: ethics, sustainability, inclusivity, materiality, recyclability, closedloop design and cradle-to-cradle design. And for students to then apply that understanding to a design brief or project. With this in mind, I developed a system called Responsible Designer, which aims to help

issues that apply to any brief. For example, they can look at ethics and inclusivity if working on a social project; or materiality, recyclability and closed-loop design if they are considering a packaging brief. The completed mind map helps generate debate, understanding and The completed mind map helps generate develop a student’s debate, understanding and develop a terminology. After student’s terminology. using the system for a semester, it’s usugraphic design students embed a more responally no longer needed as the thinking becomes sible approach to their problem-solving. The instinctive. system places the issues of responsibility as a The smartphone app offers a well-researched fundamental part of process, decision-making resource of responsible printing, inks, papers and creative practice for students. Responsible and processes. It also has an extensive reading Designer has two elements: a studio-based list and links section, and showcases studios that document and a smartphone app. The studio have a responsible ethos, along with inspiring document is a simple mind-mapping system that examples of their work. The app extends the acts as an introduction to the themes and issues learning environment outside of the studio and surrounding being a more responsible designer. places key information into the hands of the It enables students to consider the responsible students, which helps to inform their creative choices and processes.generation of designers work more efficiently.


A Commitment to

Designs Future Between globalization, ever-ch anging technology, and new aesthetic, nothing in the design world has been left untouched. The field of Graphic Design is rapidly changing. Its forcing designers to either change their ways or fall behind. In doing so, many have to sacrifice all they stand for.

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Where will you fall?

This past week, I’ve felt like a time warp has engulfed the graphic design profession and sent it looping back to the 1990s. In the early ’90s, graphic designers eschewed digital tools (Oh the humanity! What about typography?! Accurate color?! Won’t somebody please think of the letterpress?!) and media as unholy incarnations of design. It set AIGA back years, if not decades, while print designers bemoaned new directions for their own skills and experience. Many graphic designers had to be dragged kicking and screaming toward the rapidly and obviously evolving present that, yes, saw opportunities for everyone to be a “designer” (often with disastrous results—remember all those PageMaker-generated, use-every-typeface-available brochures?) but also saw the design profession widen in a wonderful way, bringing in fresh people, ideas, techniques and design opportunities. It happened again in the late ’90s, with the rise of interaction design and new media (web, mobile, etc.) that offered even more opportunities for designers to apply their skills, stretch their boundaries and work on increasingly complex and interesting applications. More kicking. More screaming. More moaning. And, it set AIGA back almost another decade. Instead of AIGA also being the professional organization of interaction design and design in interactive media, that role is now filled by IxDA.

Article by Nathan Shedroff

The dilemma is exacerbated by websites and services that offer logos for $50 and less (none of which are worldclass, some of which are good, most of which seem “good enough” to clients who do not know what to expect). It’s no wonder that what members of AIGA are asking for moves far beyond AIGA’s roots. That’s


INN OVATION

where they see opportunities and ask for assistance, support and inspiration. If you listen to the ma jority of AIGA members, they appreciate the past and, at times, they like to learn

from and celebrate it, but what they want is information on how to be successful and relevant in their work today. They’re also much less interested in the work of design heroes, today’s or yesterday’s, for better or worse, and want to envision how they can thrive in a very different market than this profession’s past. Today, there are an astonishing number of places to see great work and many more competitions to enter. However, there are still very few places to learn professional tools for advancing our skills as designers who create not only beauty but also value

Today, there are an

astonishing

number of places to see great work and many more co m p e t it ion s t o e nte r .

in the areas of sustainability, social justice, business and more. AIGA was there first, of course, with the Advance for Design, which turned into the AIGA Experience Design group. But this initiative slowly died as those members who wanted to move forward toward new directions lost patience with the endless discussions about what it meant for current competitions, conferences, sponsorship from paper companies and the rest of AIGA’s print design roots. The same could be said for the AIGA Center for Brand Experience, an initiative that was on the forefront but was superseded (and is now

mostly owned) by the Design Management Institute (and, good for them). In 2003, Terry Irwin programmed AIGA’s annual conference around the theme “The Power of Design.” It was discounted by many of the old guard for being too “down” and devoid of people showing “cool” work. Despite the fact that few people like to sit through presentations where designers show their work while describing how great it is to be them, this has been the mainstay of design conferences. The sessions that make change, in our profession and ourselves, are sometimes not recognized until years later. This was confirmed last year.

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WHA T’S NEW

Student work at all levels, therefore, should be informed by the study of: Wh at peopl e want and need Wh at the context demands

How things get planned, produced and distributed The effects of design action

Tools and methods for exploring these issues Design practice competencies

Article by Richard Grefe

E V O L V I N G E X P E C T A T I O N S

FOR DESIGN E

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A

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The context for design problem-solving is increasingly complex, and design activity is typically nested within a web of interconnected systems.

T

here has never been such strong demand for the contribution of the design mind, whether in creating beautiful solutions that engage audiences or finding new ways to solve highly complex problems. Growing expectations of design's problemsolving abilities have resulted in designers tackling unprecedented assignments that challenge them to adapt to the constantly changing dynamics of technology and media.

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While the innovation and creativity that designers bring to these challenges is awe-inspiring, the situation creates a difficult problem of its own: How can educators and institutions train the next generation of designers to handle these assignments? AIGA believes the present moment offers an important opportunity to bring the concerns of design practice and the expectations of educational programs into alignment. Based on our research into the changing demands of the profession through Defining the Designer of 2015 and discussions at recent design education conferences, we’ve drafted a document that outlines the outcomes and competencies expected of a four-year design program. Once your suggestions and insights have been incorporated, the revised document will become the basis of AIGA’s efforts to guide curriculum development for future design education through discussions with accrediting agencies and educational institutions. We will be circulating the document among schools of art and design for comment this fall, and the final draft will be available in 2013.


9 AIGA The strategic environment for design The general characteristics of the strategic environment for design to which programs claiming student preparation for professional practice should respond. AIGA leaves the specific means of that response to the discretion of institutions but holds programs accountable for demonstrating curricular currency with the field. These characteristics impact various design specializations differently, which is reflected in their individual competencies. Of general interest to all design specializations are: Context. The role of the designer is not only to achieve successful fit between form and context, but also to determine how much of the surrounding context will be addressed by the design problem and what precursors (historical, competitive, etc.) are relevant to their work. Students, therefore, should gain some experience in framing design problems, not just in solving them. Complexity. The context for design problem-solving is increasingly complex, and design activity is typically nested within a web of interconnected systems. Such complexity is expressed in design practice through growing concern for: • Interdisciplinary collaboration – Students should have experiences working in teams, and, where possible, curricula should demonstrate the design relevance of study in the social sciences and humanities. • Designing at the level of systems – Studio activities should encourage students to anticipate the consequences of design action in a variety of systems, even when working at the level of products and components. Designing for and with people. Contemporary design practice exhibits varying levels of responsibility between designers and users. This environment of shifting control for design decisions results in concern:

General Studies Students are also expected to develop knowl edge and skills through studies associated with subjects and issues be yond design: 1. Associated subjects. Of particular relevance to future practice in design are: Anthropology and Communication and Engineering cultural studies rhetoric Psychology and human Business Computer science factors 2. Operational guidelines. Some design courses, if conceived and taught in relation to other realms of human experience, ma y appropriatel y be included in the category of general studies. Some courses th at explore historical, theoretical, mana gement, cultural or social science perspectives on design ma y meet this criterion. • Methods for understanding people’s wants, needs and patterns of behavior • Recognition of social and cultural differences • Strategies for resolving competing values Technology. A rapidly evolving technological context presents both challenges and opportunities for design education. While the resources of institutions will limit how quickly programs can respond to industry changes in specific software and hardware, there are overarching concerns for the impact of technology on design that should be reflected in curricula. These include: • Learning how to learn technology – Because change will be a constant, students’ technological experiences should prepare them to learn new technologies in general. • Designing tools and systems – The democratization of technology places a greater burden on designers to invent the systems through which users create their own experiences. Students should be engaged in the invention of technology as well as its use. Research: While research skills are more typically expected of graduate students, studies in general education and design.

The following competencies are critical to effective contribution by entry-level designers in design practice. Each contributes to the overall effective practice of the discipline. 1. Basic communication principles and processes: Informed consideration of the spatial, temporal and kinesthetic relationships among form, meaning and behavior. Effective use of typography, images, diagrams, motion, sequencing, color, etc. 2. Understanding of people and settings: Ability to frame investigations in terms of people, activities and their settings Understanding of design at different scales, ranging from components to systems and from artifacts to experiences.

We are currently seeking your input on these recommendations; please comment by August 24. 3. Effective use of technology: Knowing how to learn technology; recognizing that technological change is constant Critical evaluation of different technologies; placing technical issues in the service of human. Recognition of the social, cultural and economic implications of technology on message production and human behavior 4. Research predispositions and skills: Ability to articulate and support design decisions through research findings and conceptual argumentation at various stages of project development and presentation Ability to use anal ytical tools and construct appropriate visualizations in the execution of research activities.


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CA: Mr. Crane, your work has been called distinctive. Do you think it is distinctive? Crane: Absolutely. I offer a Total Communications Program. CA: Is that true?

CA: Can you tell me a little about your background?

CA: Did you enjoy working with Dorfsman?

Crane: I was born in Cleveland in a neighborhood that later became known for its innovative graffiti. I missed all that. I was attracted to design because Art was the only course I passed in high school.

Crane: Enjoy is hardly the word. But I learned a lot. Whatever success I’ve had is due largely to the focus on detail that Lou demanded...

Crane: Partially. CA: Poster art? Crane: Sure. What’s a book jacket but a poster? The fact that there may be a few hundred pages of copy underneath it is beside the point. Of course you could say that, by the same token, every package is poster design; but a package is threedimensional. So is a book, I admit, but not as far as the jacket designer is concerned. Throughout the interview, Crane spoke candidly about his youth and early career development.

CA: Not to be offensive, but apart from seeing your name on credit lines and awards, I am not really familiar with your work. Crane: I guess if there’s anything I’m known for, it’s corporate logos. Also I do a lot of book jackets. When I started out, that was something you did only because it was easy work to get. But I see now how important it is. I think book jackets are the only American contribution to poster art. CA: So you were talented? Crane: My mother thought so. I got no encouragement anywhere else. You know those ads that ask you to copy a drawing as part of a free talent test? Well, I flunked the test!

e n ra

CA: Was it hard to get started on your own? Crane: I didn’t exactly start from scratch. I was already doing freelance work for the Syosset Valve Company. They hired me to do a specification catalog, but I convinced them that they needed a total program: stationery, business cards, brochures, even a wedding announcement, and shirts for the assembly division’s bowling team. That turned out to be a nightmare. CA: They didn’t like the design? Crane: They loved the design. What they didn’t like was my insistence that the bowling shirts be buttoned all the way up. But it was essential to design integrity. You have a bunch of guys with unbuttoned shirts and they look like Stanley Kowalski out for a beery night with the boys. It’s not the right image for a company that just won an award for precision flow control.

d e t i s i v e R er

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terv n I e lusiv c x E IGA’s

SPO TLI GHT


THE FUTURE

a new Membership

Introducing

N e w m e m b e r participation model In order to achieve a more open and inclusive community with a shared interest in design, AIGA is launching a new approach to member participation. Beginning this month, AIGA is shifting from a membership model based on the stage of an individual’s career.

Model

by Richard Grefe

The expectations of many designers have broadened in recent decades, as have the range of design disciplines and practices. AIGA is committed to representing and To one that reflects the member’s interest in and commitment supporting the interests of designers as they explore new roles. to AIGA and all that it entails: adhering to the profession’s At the same time, social principles, advocacy of the value of design, support for designers’ media and the internet interests and stimulating conversations critical to design’s future. have increased expectations We believe that the new model will allow many who have for access to communities left AIGA membership to return, draw in new supporters who and information. may not be Member level, h a s a lways equivalent to the historic adapted to “professional” member, the interests of the profession, although we have lowered and is now shifting to a model the cost of every membership that makes membership level in recognition of the more accessible, increasing challenging economic environment we are traversing. We participation while providing hope those who understand the value of having a unified voice opportunities for those who to advance the interests of design will join us at even higher va l u e A I G A ’s r o l e i n t h e contributing levels that are now available. We are eager to have advancement of design to you join this new AIGA for the next century.s AIGA approaches make a stronger financial its centennial. contribution. A larger and more diverse membership makes AIGA’s collective voice stronger and more compelling.

AIGA

Our goal is to double membership—t o 4 0 , 0 0 0 m e m b e r s —by 2014. AIGA 11


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AIGA Magazine Spreads  

Spreads from a typography special of AIGA magazine.

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