When I first started working in ‘design’, digital design really didn’t exist. And when I first started doing my illustration work on the computer most art directors and editors didn’t want to see ‘computer illustrations’. Things change.
I started my career at an advertising agency doing print design. I left that to work at a software company designing packaging, application start-up screens and icons. This job grew into designing their first website which happened about ‘day one’ of the internet because this was a connectivity software company that made TCP/IP stacks and such. So I was there making lovely grey backgrounds with blinking text. You controlled almost nothing on the webpage. Later we had interactive demos and CD-ROM materials. By the time I moved to LA, 60% of my work was for the virtual world.
Digital design is almost an irrelevant term these days as most material is consumed first on a screen. There’s a few exceptions, but I can’t imagine a job I’ve had that’s solely looking at print design. Even the picture books I write and illustrate, which are as squarely focused on being a print project as possible these days often end up in digital book stores. And of course I ‘paint’ my books on the computer now.
Over the past year I’ve done a lot of illustration work, designed a few e-books for myself and others and worked on logos and identity work that – while it may be on printed material occasionaly it is likely to going to spend its life interacting with people via a screen.
It’s also interesting to look at my job titles through the years I was working in design full time – graphic designer, interactive designer, web designer, interactive art director, online art director, interactive creative director, online project manager – they demonstrate the changing world of media very well.
And through the years the digital canvas has become much more resilient and able to support actual notions of design. This has allowed for the knowledge and training in print to mean something in the interactive world. Of course life in the digital design world also means a never ending set of changes when it comes to the tools we use and the devices used to look at what we create. Yearly software upgrades from years long past are not the issue anymore. Try quarterly alterations in the tools, platforms and development environments and every project starting with newer technologies.
Digital design is almost all design today. The revolution is over. It won. Viva la Digital!