Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

Intraview 4: Sam Byford, Oliver Richenstein

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SB: In our increasingly digital world, how do you see the disciplines of graphic design and product / industrial design merging?

SB: The quick wins have more or less come together now. Interfaces communicate better thanks to the knowledge transfer from graphic design – typography, the grid etc. But I still think there is much further to go before the broader theoretical progress made throughout graphic design’s history really comes to meet digital product design in a meaningful way.

Graphic design made enormous leaps in our understanding of visual communication and perception, style, utility, political and social impacts etc. Many of these ideas are extremely relevant to digital product design but to really parse them out and apply them to see what that relevance is, is a slow undertaking that few are well placed to do. For instance, how might we see the ideas embedded in the printed designs of the arts and crafts movement of the 19th century applied to today’s production cycle? Beyond the aesthetics of this period which is easily applied to a digital surface to ‘theme’ an object, can the central thesis (of a return to hand production, and the inherent human value in the pleasure and beauty of workmanship) be applied to today’s context? Surely there is scope for exploration of this in the world of the Operating System.

Graphic design was uniquely advantaged to make these ideological statements and shifts as it was possible and in many cases necessary to understand the end-to-end process and see the aesthetic connectivity between phases of production. Today’s trend is towards specialised individuals, owning a single part of the design and development process, making these analogies hard to apply and new discoveries hard to explore. Who can approach today’s design process from a critical perspective?

The lifecycle of discovery is shortening, the movement has become the trend, leaving deep ideas unexplored and minimal gains made with each iteration of design’s best practice. The fields will merge, if they haven’t already, but I think we could be missing out on many of the best ideas in the process.

Question co-opted from Sam Byford interview with Oliver Reichenstein on The Verge 2012.



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Typography for scanning.

When I read online, I use my cursor to highlight a line of text every now and then as I’m reading through longer form content. I don’t know what this is, but it feels like a form of tactility. I feel like I’m grabbing the words… securing myself somehow to the text. I find it hard to concentrate on reading, because there’s usually so much distraction on web pages.

Language for the internet

Parametric typography + responsive web design = bingo!

Value of an image

Images are actually pretty crap online. They take time to load, they scale poorly, getting different image formats to work together in a page is hard, you can’t search their content, content administrators have difficulty with them, they probably often communicate ZERO to visually impaired users. But then again, reading on screen sucks too. This communication revolution is actually pretty shitty.

Network design

Information Architecture is not like Architecture. Post-Modern Information Architecture… could that be a thing?

Maybe one day…

Building what you design

I’ve been reading ‘Models & Constructs’ by Norman Potter, and something that’s obvious is his intimate understanding of the real and practical construction of objects and spaces. Having the skills to build what you design increases the likelihood of it’s proper functionality and strengthens any theoretical explorations one might be toying with. To think of a website as an object is actually very helpful.

A modernist designer of websites

The internet itself is a modern context (is the internet a place? …yeah I guess that’s been established now.) but obviously that doesn’t mean that designing for a digital screen makes the practice inherently modern. In fact I wouldn’t know how you would classify web design today. The most applauded products still mostly seem like the bastard child of newspaper design, visual merchandising and scrapbooking. An honest modernist approach is needed to get us to the ‘new dawn’ of digital and interactive design.

A Modernist Programmer

Search Within the Problem

Simple Sites

I want to design simple sites. Web design seems to have developed in such a way that excess is anticipated. In a digital environment more polluted by noise and static than any other media stream we expect to be presented with an unreasonable amount of shit in and around whatever content we’re actually after. Web design didn’t progress slowly like early book design where there were real limitations and thoughtful consideration that helped define typographic and compositional standards… Web design launched straight into a hysteric free for all and we can’t slow down to consider what basic principles of the discipline might be. It’s not easy when clients are desperate for WOW factor.