There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for. — Milton Glaser (http://psd.tutsplus.com/articles/inspiration/50-inspirational-quotes-on-the-art-science-of-design/)
We come to the end of our perusal of graphic design history. Of course, history never ends, since it is always in the making. Having looked at the past, we can look at the present to divine the future. Our text mentioned the upcropping of ‘zines, made possible by the advent of desktop publishing. One way we could keep up with current developments is through current design publications, many of which are still available in print, some of which are in print and online, and some of which have morphed into solely online publications. (This might give us pause to wonder about the future of printed material, and decide how this will affect our own designs. Will be champions of print, or bow to the times, or find a middle road?)
Britain has a particularly vigorous design publications industry. Back in the days of Borders, I loved to sit in their café and browse the many design magazines from the UK and America before deciding which was dollar-worthy – actually, many-dollar-worthy. (This brings into question once again the future of printed materials as we take a moment to remember Borders.) Communication Arts Magazine was one of my favorites. It is mostly viewable online, with articles such as “Add Some Zing to Your Typography in Photoshop” (http://www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials/add-some-zing-your-typography-photoshop). Our newly acquired knowledge of the history of graphic design might give us a new perspective on such articles. Considering the exacting care typeface designers accord typefaces, would we really want to make our letters so extremely ornate as this article advocates? Is this sort of wildly modified typeface a passing fad or a possible new trend? Almost every new method of design we
studied was at first met with scorn by entrenched Olde Guarde, so we would have to consider our answer carefully.
Our evaluation of the Wild A might be influenced not only by our readings in Meggs, but by perusing the web and another favorite design magazine of mine, “Print.” In an article titled “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (available online at http://www.printmag.com/Article/The-Good-the-Bad-and-the-Ugly),
Rick Poynor reviews a book titled Pretty Ugly: Visual Rebellion in Design. He points out that the controversy over “ugly” in graphic design was engaged in the 1980s and early 1990s, and finds justification for designs that traditional values would label “ugly.” This is a continuation of the question “What is good design, after all?” that was historically addressed in our book. (Another innovation of the computer age is enhanced interactivity; readers can comment on the article online. I still hold that this isn’t nearly as satisfying as holding a slick copy of Print in my hands. Book sniffers – and, yes, I do smell books – would be heartbroken if printed materials disappeared.)
Another design magazine that has made a presence for itself online is How magazine, albeit a bit more tentatively than Computer Arts and Print. It offers subscriptions in print, digital and on the Ipad. (Can a magazine survive economically by selling itself the same way an eBook is sold?) It doesn’t present as much of its material online as the other two magazines, but it does offer some articles, information about events and competitions, and a free design newsletter. Its available articles do offer a great deal of information, but few images. For instance, the article “42 Typographic Resources for Designers” offers numerous sites and resources, but graphics consist mostly of headings:
Perhaps How considers images one bit of important graphic they feel they must sell rather than distribute freely. There is an image on their home page of a How magazine on an IPad, which brings me back to the question of trends and aesthetics in graphic arts:
There are large numbers of lists of design magazines online. One at http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/01/14-essential-magazines-for-graphic-designers/
lists Layers, Photoshop Creative, .Net, Print, I.D., How, Communication Arts, Digital Arts, Before & After, CMYK, Computer Arts, Computer Arts Projects, and Advanced Photoshop (and gives viewers the opportunity to subscribe. Ah, Borders.). Whatever views about graphic design and graphic design history we’ll take away from this class, we have plenty of opportunity to review and revise them as history continues to be made. Our studies this semester will help us to do this in a more informed and open-minded manner.