Saving the Soul of Graphic Design: How Technology Can Help Designers Meet their Social Obligations

By Simon Downs.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Graphic Designers communicate, demystify and explain the world to the very people who need this clarity most. However, these same well intentioned people are frozen in place by the economic demands of the organs of dissemination; print, television and the Net: organs that are so expensive and so bound into the First World Technocratic infrastructure that they actively curtail any impulses that Graphic Designers may possess towards performing socially responsive work.

Yet year by year communication technology moves on: what might the Graphic Designers of the world achieve if these new processes and devices could act as a bridge between the designers – both local and overseas – and the users on a local level? Might it not be possible by means of these emergent technologies, for Graphic Designers in the Developed World to partner with users in the Developing World, with the aim of producing local answers to local needs? A truer form of communication, one existing between partners, one beneficial to both parties, and one that may just offer Graphic Design a shot at redemption after all.

Keywords: Graphic Design, Communications, Society, Technology

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 2, Issue 7, pp.151-162. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.541MB).

Simon Downs

Lecturer, School of Art and Design, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK

Simon Downs trained as a Painter/Illustrator in the 1980s. In the early 90s he worked in multimedia and animation before settling into freelance consulting as a Digital Designer and Illustrator for big business. He worked as a Lecturer at DeMontfort University before becoming a full-time academic at the Loughborough University School of Art & Design. He is an editor of 'Tracey', the electronic -journal of contemporary drawing, and a member of Loughborough's Drawing Research Group and Animation Academy. After twelve years of working in electronic media and the web he still thinks there must be a better way.


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