Cross Platform Making
Next, we're gonna talk about cross-platform making. This is something that we touched upon earlier. It's like the metaphor of the editorial designer from 1950 to 2017. Maybe 60 years ago it was just about designing for one medium, but now it's about so much more than that. And the best metaphor is that of the furniture designer and the interior designer. Like I said, the furniture designer designs something with a specific purpose and intent. The interior designer has to think about all the elements in a room. So let's give concrete example of what that looks like. Say you're working in branding, which is under the umbrella of communication design. Branding, at its heart, is all about communicating a brand story to other people in a way that makes them hear what you're saying, feel what you're saying, and see the world that they're trying to present. And, a long time ago, we would be in one of these three categories. But now, the communications designer has to be in all of them at once...
. It's exhausting, but it's also where we're at. So, say we're working on the latest brand. Not only do we have to think about print, the catalog, what the packaging might look like, the direct mailer. we also have to think about how it looks online in websites, in emails, on social media. And we have to think about how it works in-store. What do the windows look like, what does the set design look like, what do the display ads look like? And all of these things have to work together to communicate the same message. It's like herding cats. You have to know what you're saying, and then what aspect of what you're saying across which media. But everything comes together. Like I said, it's like being the conductor of a symphony. You have the violins, you have the cellos, you have the trombone section in the back. But all these instruments are making music together, and each note adds up to create one song. So, let's break it down even further. Let's just take one aspect of this symphony. Say, we're gonna talk about the design of social media. We just take the violin section of the song. Right? You could even break that down even further. Just in social media alone, we have a blog, we have Twitter, we have Facebook, we have Instagram, Pinterest, and Foursquare. It's so important to know your medium. Cause a medium defines how people interact with content. So, for example, a blog, which is long-form, can help give context. This is where you tell the story about your brand. So it doesn't make sense if you're trying to tell the story about your brand, that you would just put it on Pinterest, right? Cause Pinterest has a very different goal. It's goal is more to collect visual inspiration. Facebook is more geared toward engagement, Twitter is more engaged toward informing and connecting. But regardless, the contemporary communication designer needs to know which platform and which medium makes sense for which message.
There is a tendency in design education to discuss mediums as career paths. Web designer. Print designer. Type Designer. And while there is enormous value in specialized skills, technology has radically reconfigured the landscape of the industry. Print designers are asked to design—and create—content published in monthly print magazines, weekly blogs, and daily social media posts. Social media marketing is redefining advertising. Branding includes more customer experience, both on and offline.
The field is rapidly redrawing its own boundaries and its relationship to other industries. What does it mean to be a communication designer in today's market? And how can we build success for tomorrow?
In this class, YuJune Park, Associate Director of the Communication Design program at Parsons School of Design, will share with you the fundamental skills that graphic designers, or rather, communication designers need to succeed in an industry that expects its practitioners to move fluidly from printed matter to digital screens and beyond.