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Is it me, or is most design becoming interactive?

Whether we know it or not, graphic design is pretty much everywhere we turn. Ads, food product containers and boxes, posters, and even official boring documents that we need to fill out. But lately I’ve noticed all these forms of design slowly becoming interactive in one way or another. The other day at the mall I noticed the directory, that I’ve viewed since I was about 9 years old, switched from a static poster to an interactive piece where the viewer can touch the screen and create a route to get to their specific store destination. Aside from this particular transition of static to interactive, there are many other incidents that we may not notice, like for example how most places have their paperwork online now instead of using hard copies. This can either be because we are trying to be eco-friendly or because most people just go online now for everything.

The question I propose from this realization is, “do you think it is crucial for designers to learn more interactive programs than just learning straight print projects?” Interactive programs can range from user experience/user interactive to HTML/CSS. How far can static design take us as designers?

Of course, brochures and handouts are useful and I don’t see that becoming interactive along with other products, but I think universities, particularly Mason, should require more interactive courses for our degree in design instead of studio classes that do not pertain to what we need to do. As a student studying graphic design, I would find it more useful to take a web applications course over sculpture.


  1. Sam Mclaren wrote:

    Wow, I didn’t know that there was a mall directory like that. I’ve never heard of that before. That will be interesting to have in most malls, especially Tyson’s Corner because it’s a huge mall and I get lost. It will be very helpful to have a directory to show you where you need to go. It’s a good example of an interactive design because you can touch it and let it show you where you need to go. I have taken three studio classes that assisted me with perspective, light, shadow, form, and usage of different medium. It helped me a little, but I am more into computer programs that interact such as Dreamweaver. I personally will choose web applications instead of sculpture. Static design doesn’t stick out to me.

    Friday, February 7, 2014 at 7:14 am | Permalink
  2. Christian wrote:

    I definitely think that we are in an interactive and digital age. Everything we have is going digital. Physical cd’s, magazines, and dvd’s are used less and less each day and are instead listened to or watched online. I think it’s important for graphic design to catch up with our modern technology because static design could possibly be a thing of the past. I also agree that Universities should offer more interactive courses for designers, mostly for the same reasons.

    Saturday, February 8, 2014 at 10:45 am | Permalink
  3. Lindsay Kempter wrote:

    At George Mason, I feel that our graphic design program is a little outdated. We concentrate on print and media advertising and branding, but less on web and interactive media. I think you are correct, our day to day lives are becoming much more interactive. For us as graphic designers to keep up with demand, we need to be multi-talented. It is not enough anymore to just do print media. One must be well-versed in HTML, CSS, Flash, and other types of interactive content. This need will continue to increase and it is our duty to become informed.

    Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink
  4. Charlis Foster wrote:

    I think there is a niche for everyone who wants one. I fit well in print design, and have little to no interest in interactive design. But then I work best as a part of a team where there can be many subject matter experts who specialize in one thing, and we all work together to make one really great product. There’s a lot of pressure to know it all and do it all, but there is so much to learn and keep up with. I’d rather have a solid set of skills in one area than to be a jack of all trades and a master of none.

    Monday, February 10, 2014 at 8:04 pm | Permalink
  5. Nikhilaa Prakash wrote:

    I agree with Lindsay. I think that the GMU design program is a little outdated. I’ve heard that before from a lot of people. WIth graphic designing being a growing and demanding field, it is very important for us to be on top of the trend to be successful in this field.

    Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink