Another topic of interest is the catch-all term skeuomorph, objects that retain ornamental elements of the past, derivative iterations of elements that are no longer necessary for function, or derivative objects that retain ornamental design cues to a structure that was necessary in the original and how we use it to define navigational patterns and interaction. We now stand at a time where many believe skeuomorphs are becoming archaisms. The best way I can explain it is to look at how we measure engine power, in horsepower. At one point this made sense, they compared the output to something commonly known, the output of a horse, believe it or not people knew how much a horse could pull. My car has 286HP, that does not mean much to me…it may have made sense 100 years ago but today I cant even picture what 286 horses look likes, I guess I could Google it. The thing about this debate on archaisms is that it is not a debate on design trends or aesthetics it is a debate about human transition. We build off what exists. The trick is to design for the times in order to drive a smooth frustration free evolution into tomorrow and learn while doing it. It is the balance of innovation, a term that sounds so positive, but don’t let it fool you, innovation can quickly become irresponsible. We cant fix the horsepower archaism by changing it to light years. My question is how do we balance yesterday and tomorrow into today.
I have realized that the designers skills are expanding with technology at an alarming rate; and wonder how design education will adapt. Even the definition of graphic design is changing. Does a graphic designer combines art and technology to communicate? Throughout my career I have been amazed how current education models seem to create designers who are afraid of technology, a man vs. machine mentality enforcing the print vs. web battle. The seemingly destructive technological convergence is nevertheless changing the market and industry. Information is the common product and that impacts design. With so many devices, view-ports, audiences, professions, and technologies coming together designers need to have and are expected to have a lot of technological know how. I see graphic design becoming a very technical field of art and collaboration that will require a great deal of change.
In a nutshell, I am interested in how technology has and will influence design, how the saying “rules are meant to be broken” is becoming more and more true. Our on-screen information culture has shortened attention spans and decreased eye-sight for example; in consequence the idea font-size, line-length, and design in general is adapting. 16 is the new 12, the numbers of design are growing and its units changing. 44px for example is at the foundation of everything I design these days, the idea finger size. At the same time we are moving away from fixed sizes all together. I have begun looking at the evolution of design through numbers.