Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Erik Spiekermann: Graphic Design Won't Threaten Any Lives

The journal entry for type today was over an interview with Erik Spiekermann ( Spiekermann talked about the many changes that graphic design is going through in keeping up with the rapidly changing world.

An interesting point he made was despite this constant game of "catch up" it's interesting to see how designers have returned to their roots when designing new things for the technological world. Grids have been around ever since metal type but they continue to grow today because of the positive impact they make on design. They might be frustrating to work with sometimes but grids will make your design better. It's Spiekermann endorsed.

Another interesting point Spiekermann made was the difference between a typographic designer's workflow and one of a graphic designer. For a typographic designer, they look at the smallest element within the design and build up their composition and hierarchy from there. In contrast, graphic designers have a style in mind (Spiekermann gave the example of designing something that's "blue and wobbly") and then working to achieve that certain style and doing everything it takes to make it look like that vision. I agree with Spiekermann's differentiation, but I believe that there can be a combination of typographic design and graphic design. Actually, I think there needs to be. Especially in the context of print (even more specifically, the typebooks we're working on right now in class) we need to achieve a style through intense attention to type, detail, and hierarchy.

As designers, there are so many mistakes to be made. So many smart quotes to forget, kerning to fix, paragraph styles to make jank, that can make our compositions a train wreck. But Spiekermann made the point of the role that graphic design plays. You're constantly learning and while communicating visually in incredibly important, graphic design doesn't threaten any lives. No one is going to die if your rag looks like a pregnant woman. As designers, we need to recognize this and keep in perspective. Keep it at the forefront, but still in perspective.

No comments:

Post a Comment