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28 MAY 2011

Multiple media has led to a non-media-specificity in practice

"Graphic design as a discrete discipline has changed greatly during its lifetime and continues to change. It changes with the society it practices within, with technology and with its own internal growth as a practice. These changes to practice have included the move into new media as they have arisen or developed with technology; print, motion, interactive, and environmental. This move into multiple media and areas of discourse has challenged the discipline, asking designers to adapt to numerous new areas and yet continue to maintain standards of education and professional practice. Along with these challenges, which appeared largely due to the advent of affordable digital capabilities in the late twentieth century, new opportunities for growth and development in the practice have become possible.

The movement into multiple media has led to a non–media–specificity in practice. Graphic designers no longer work just in print, or even just visually. Dimensions of time, interactivity, space and sound have entered the discipline. Beyond the release from media specificity this has led to a separation from media. No longer the focus of the practice, the design artefacts, and the media that support them, have become the vehicle through which the work of the discipline is materialised. This has allowed the practice to become aware of itself in a completely different way, bringing into mindfulness its broader role and the broader concerns of that role. In an era of ubiquitous access to the means of production, the discipline has been forced to ask itself what it offers beyond the production of the designed artefact. This, along with a maturation of the self image, has led to the sense that the term 'graphic' might no longer have a broad enough scope to describe the practice."

(Neal Haslem, p.22)

2). Haslem, N. (2009). "Communication design: towards a 'socially–situated' practice." Visual:Design:Scholarship Research Journal of the Australian Graphic Design Association 4(1): 20–28.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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