Wendy and Kati (2002) observe that the invention of the internet is considered to be one of the greatest invention and innovation in the 20th century. The internet has improved the way people communicate and accomplish different tasks. It is one of the greatest tools of communication which enables users to reach a wider audience in secluded locations around the world. A wide range of communication techniques and options are available in the internet.
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They include checking and sending mails, learning new things, ordering shopping and socializing with a wide range of audiences among many other communicative options (Kitchen, 2004). It is worth saying that the internet has established magnificent changes in communication by revolutionizing communication. Graphic designers deal in the production of different designs, which are then sold to their customers.
Graphic design, which is a profession or work done by graphic designers, is a creative process that often involves designers and clients as well as producers of form for instance sign makers and printers. Art works developed by graphic designers convey different messages to different audiences. Many clients are derived from the audience that gets attracted by the artwork and the message that is conveyed (Piscopo, 2004, Miletsky, 2008).
According to Quesenberry and Sykes (2008) and Whitbread (2009), the internet has a large impact on the development of graphic design artwork. Graphic designers have developed online galleries. With online galleries, the development of online marketing activities is easy (Poon & Joseph, 2000).
Online marketing is vital to graphic designers just as it is to other business persons in modern times. Graphic designers have spread their galleries on the internet. Marketing of artwork slightly differs from other commercial transactions since it requires a deeper understanding of the art works. It can be associated with social events, which entail public participation for understanding. As of today, there are more art sites on the internets with many being added on a daily basis.
The art sites are also known as e-art galleries. In addition, online conversations have been on the rise. This denotes the worthiness of the internet in graphic design development (Wendy & Kati, 2002, Harris & Dennis, 2008). Internet has helped many people and businesses to develop strong marketing networks through reaching a wider audience (Bowen, 1999).
Many businesses have thrived through the use of internets as the main media of communication with their potential customers (Sterne, 2001). Graphic design and designers cannot be left behind when talking about the benefit of internet use in business. Internet use has helped graphic designers make items known to different audiences, thereby gaining customer clientele in different destinations globally (Hanson, 2000).
Graphic design is one profession and business which requires visual contact between customers and the products is important. Customers can only develop interest in the products once they have seen the products and get attracted to them.
While a number of the ancient designers despise the internet revolution in enhancing their business, most modern designers have fully taken advantage of the internet and are using it to drive their products to different regions of the world. They have lauded the internet and termed it as a great medium of communication with their audience across different regions in the world (Gourville, 2006).
Drucker and McVarish (2009) ascertain that graphic design in modern days has become sophisticated. Therefore, the internet is one of the major means through which the graphic designers acquire information on the latest developments in graphic design. Therefore, this research paper looks into the worth of internet communication in enhancing the work of graphic designers.
It looks at how internet communication has aided graphic designers in their key mission which is having their art work reach a greater audience. This is a secondary research analysis and inferences have been drawn from the literature review.
Main aim of research
The major aim of this research is to find out how graphic designers are using the internet to spread their work across different regions and to what extent.
- To get a definition of graphic design and an understanding of the pieces of work that is produced by graphic designers
- To understand the extent to which the internet can help graphic designers in training
- To outline the benefits of using the internet in developing graphic design work
- To establish the extent to which graphic designers are using internet communication in reaching a wider clientele or audience
- To identify pros and cons of internet communication as it concerns its use in spreading art works made by graphic designers.
- This research seeks to answer the following questions:-
- What is graphic design? Which kind of work do graphic designers engage in?
- What is the role of internet communication in advancing training in graphic design?
- What value does internet communication add to graphic design?
- How does internet communication help graphic designers in spreading their art work to a wider audience across the globe?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of internet communication use in graphic design work? Do the merits outweigh the demerits? Is this beneficial to graphic designers?
Graphic design is a quite broad term. Graphic design has been a growing category of activity in the world (Newark, 2007). Graphic design can be defined as a piece of art or rather visual communication presented in a professional manner. This piece of art work is presented using words, images and ideas to pass information to a given audience (Drate, Robbins & Salavetz, 2006). The person who produces these pieces of art work is referred to as a graphic designer.
Graphic designers arrange the graphic elements on a range of media; for instance, posters and packages or website. Posters are the common media on which graphic design art work was displayed. The website is the most recent media where graphic designers display their art work (Miller, 2012).
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Pipes (2005) observe that graphic designers make use of the principles of design in organizing the messages for their intended audience. Therefore, concepts like balance, unity, proportion, variety, contrast, rhythm, emphasis and movement are used by graphic designers. Designers make use of these concepts to improve communication and make their art work more attractive and appealing to clients (Thomas, 2003, ‘What is Graphic Design For?’, 2005).
Graphic designers have custom web designs which utilize art concepts to enhance communication (United States, 2010). Websites and blogs help designers in expanding their art works to different people. They display their works on the blogs where customers access and view them. People get time to view these designs and analyse the designs in terms of the brains that go into their development. A blog is a small internet sites that are created to profile the works of an individual (Scott, 2010, ‘Las Vegas Graphic Design’, 2012).
Graphic designers can also create their portfolios and post them on the blogs. The portfolios present a number of designs or art work made by the designers. This depicts the abilities of the designers to people who view these portfolios. The portfolios do not only market the designers but also makes the products known to different people who may help in spreading these products on the internet (Baron, 2009, Liquori, 2011, Stuart, 2012).
No designer would like to see their careers end unceremoniously. Therefore, graphic designers have been searching means to ensure that they become known or recognized worldwide. Thus, designers are joining design communities, which aid them to remain significant in the graphic design industry.
Moreover, designers are moving away from local communities, which were only created basing on proxy of the designers. Online communities are preferred because they do not require members to be close to one another (Elmansy, 2012, Shaughnessy, 2012).
Graphic designs are available almost everywhere. The commonest forms of graphic design are logos, business cards, websites, business cards, logos, book design, advertisements, billboards, brochures, posters, newspaper and magazine layouts and greeting cards among others (Friedlein, 2001). Graphic design can also refer to professional disciplines in arts where students are enrolled in institutions where they learn how to design graphic works.
However, the most elaborate definition of graphic work is the definition that takes a dualistic approach. According to this definition, graphic design involves two parties, the designers and the client (Cossu, 2009). This definition puts the term in an ideal business picture frame. Several techniques are used by graphic designers in making and presenting art work. They include visual arts, typography and page layout techniques.
Graphic design is a process that originates with the designer and ends with the client or vice versa (Evans & Sherin, 2008). Graphic designs are used in different ways. They are used for identity of other products and services as in the use of logos and branding. They are used in publications: books, newspapers and magazines. They are also used in the advertisement and product packaging; for instance, a product package may entail a logo or another piece of art work.
Composition of different elements of art in a piece of art work is a vital factor in graphic design (Friedlein, 2001). Effective visual communication through art works has become relevant to many companies in the world. These designs are used in differentiation between different products within similar organizations or identical products in different companies.
Therefore, the role of graphic design artwork is something that cannot be overemphasized as it speaks for itself. Visual art skills are extremely influential in graphic design. Before applying to a design, graphic elements are generated from graphic arts (Cossu, 2009).
Graphic design learning and training: the role of internet communication
During the ancient times; before the coming of the internet, people who aspired to become graphic designers were forced to sit with a teacher and peers in a classroom (Meggs, 1998). It was only in this setup where they could gain knowledge on the concepts, practices, styles and techniques used in graphic design. These students were then tested and graded basing on the areas which they had learnt in class.
Qualification would then be rewarded to individual students basing on the test. This qualification is what would portray the skills of the students. This has not been fazed out of the system. It is still practiced in modern times. However, with the coming of the internet and the worldwide web, the learning environment has been bettered. Graphic design students no longer learn in a secluded environment. The means of sharing information between different institutions have been improved by the virtue of utilizing the internet.
Different learning institutions share information and form collaborations and partnerships on projects. Graphic design training has been bettered through the use of internet communication. The internet is slowly replacing the old form of learning (Heller, 2005).
The pace and quality of doing work by students has also been improved through the open channels of information acquisition and exchange by students. The quality graphic design studies have gone high because it is easy for students to find information and revise concepts. Students can access information and other learning materials at their convenience (Anton, 2012).
Online classes have been launched and have their merits as well as demerits as it concerns to quality learning of graphic design. Advantages of online classes are: ease in learning students can learn at their chosen time, and most of the resources can be accessed without payment of subscription fees.
The other advantage of online learning of graphic design is that there are different quality and assurance sites forums and blogs from which information can be accessed (Heller, 2003). The demerits of online classes include the presence of unreliable sources of information, which may be misleading, and the increases likelihood of cheating by students.
The other obvious demerit is the dependency on internet connectivity, which might not be available in certain areas. In spite of the demerits of demerits of the internet in teaching and learning graphic design, it is evident that the internet has revolutionized the learning of graphic design (Kokil, 2004). Web-based practices in graphic design There are a number of software packages, which are used by graphic designers.
The internet has paced up the rate at which graphic designers can update these software applications. The internet enables quick access to packages through downloading. Graphic designers can also easily access the reviews of these packages. Internet minimizes the cost of acquiring these software packages by the graphic designer thence giving them a chance to explore in other areas (Desmond, 2011).
The internet has brought about expansive opportunities in the field of graphic design. Graphic design can now make use of several web tools. These include the designing of websites, content management system creation, flash design and banners among many others. However, training is crucial for the graphic designers who are adopting internet tools in enhancing their activities (Lawrence & Little, 2001).
Internet has revolutionized communication thereby easing work for graphic designers. Before the internet was invented, it had been hard for graphic designers to find or make their products reach their customers. Graphic designers used to post advertisements in local newspapers and other means of advertising of which they had to bear the high costs involved (Berman, 2010). The internet has a wide range or means of advertising.
Moreover, most of the means of advertising are unpaid. It enables designers to meet a wide range of clients. Two things have been simplified concerning access to clients. First is the reach or access to clients. The second thing is access to customers by the clients.
Through the internet, graphic designers can quickly send their work to clients. The designers can then get feedback quickly. This saves on time as well as cost of availing products to customers and the general communication pattern between graphic designers and their customers (Farr, 2003).
Graphic designers are left with a big space to make choices as it appertains to their relationship with clients. They can either choose to design specifically for a customer, or they can also choose to make multiple designs for multiple sales (Sherin, 2008). This is because the internet offers a wide variety of software packages, which can be utilized in making different designs for clients in the market.
Different design templates can be moulded from the packages. They include Joomla template, Drupal template, WordPress. These templates have differing graphical elements which distinct one design from the other (Graphic Mania, 2010).
Virtual galleries are online stores where pieces of art work are displayed by graphic designers. The internet enables graphic designers via the galleries to inform their clients about the type and availability of art work products. This happens on a global platform due to the setup of the internet.
Internet has eased marketing management of graphic design art works (Taylor & Ryan, 1995). Retailers of graphic design art works have been positioned in a wider market arena by virtue of using internet as a marketing tool. Digital marketing has been on the rise in almost all parts of the world. This is due to the benefits that accrue to the use of the internet in enhancing business and management activities.
The process of management has been evolving, and with the advancement in internet use, in communication, management has become simpler. This means that is becoming easier to access customers over the internet than the old form of interactions. Graphic designers can benefit more is they choose to put more emphasis on developing online galleries.
Online shopping has become a modern trend by many customers meaning that online stores or shopping galleries are gaining prominence in modern marketing management activities. Therefore, the internet is the best way of reaching more customers (Irvine & Theresa, 2002).
Graphic design can also be widely applied to the entertainment industry. This includes decoration, visual storytelling and scenery. There are many other examples of graphic design for entertainment includes DVD covers, comic books and other art works which are displayed on different materials meant for sale. Information presentation in many pieces of work is done through graphic design in what is referred to as information design. Many audio-visual productions employ aspects of graphic design (Lupton & Maryland Institute, 2005).
Online art work systems – benefits and drawbacks
The growth in the popularity of internet use and the worldwide web has brought about voluminous opportunities for graphic designers. Graphic designers can now communicate with ease to both their customers and people with whom they partner to produce more decent art works. Cross-media marketing has been enhanced where graphic designers can have their products displayed on different ranges of media reaching a wider audience (Plunkett, 2007).
Online storefronts have been established by graphic designers. These stores have been developed on online art sites; for example, web-to print. Graphic designers can easily upload their products to these websites. Clients can also upload the types or examples of art work which they prefer to be produced by the designers. It is easy to do this especially so to customers and designers who reside far apart from each other (‘Moving Pictures’, 2011).
Merits of online graphic design systems like web-to-print are numerous. They enable the graphic designers, print houses, corporate clients as well as the publics to gain access to both the public and private online catalogues. This, in turn, enables designers to make final changes to the art works basing on the comments posted by the clients.
Therefore, clients can easily approve a given piece of artwork devoid of the expenses or effort to meet face-to-face with the designer. Online templates also give a change to the designers and customers to manage the brands. They get a chance to assess the contents of the art works in the course of development since the projects are conducted online (Gao, 2005).
Online art work systems are effective not only created for clients or customers of the art works but also for the graphic designers. There are also a number of demerits which can be linked to these systems. At times, there are limitations to the access to art development software and online or server systems (Zarrella, 2011).
This is common for graphic designers who do their work on a small-scale. This means that only graphic designers practicing on a large scale can afford to use these systems on an unlimited basis. The system is expensive for small-scale graphic designers who end up being overshadowed in the global market.
Their creativity is killed since they cannot afford to export their products to the system for view and review by clients. Small-scale designers cannot also afford to purchase and install digital systems, which are a prerogative for the systems to work. While high level efficiency can be achieved by using the systems, the access to these systems is limited hindering its ultimate objective (Suffling, 2012).
Online communities of graphic designers
Internet communication has enabled the development of online communities for different artist and graphic designers. Online communities are developed basing on social networking sites (Miletsky, 2010, Zarrella & Zarrella, 2011). There are many social networking platforms in the world today.
These include Facebook, Twitter and MySpace among many other social websites. Thus, with these social networking platforms, it is easy to develop strong online communities which not only help in interacting with other graphic designers but also clients (Bostic, 2011, Kabani, 2012).
Deviant Art is an example of an online community where different designers and artists connect with each other and exchange their pieces of art works. Designers are allowed to create their profiles. These profiles have background information on the designer which can be accessed by other designers on the online community (Ehow, 2012).
This is a secondary research which made use of secondary materials as the main source of data. The materials were collected from different resource materials which were published in recent times. All the information relevant to the topic under study was sourced from the research material.
The information was sourced according to the research questions that wee guiding this research. The literature sought to answer the questions under study and by effect providing information which was later analysed to give the best outcomes of this research. The literature review carried a lot of information which gave an extensive range of information for analysis thereby giving thereby releasing outcomes that have a strong foundation.
The findings of this research were based on a thorough analysis of the information of the literature collected. Data analysis was done by comparing between different pieces of information in the literature. Basis on the analysis of the information that was gathered in the literature review, a number of recommendations were made. These recommendations can open into future research besides helping in strengthening the use of internet communication in enhancing the marketing of art works made by graphic designers.
Data analysis and findings
The internet has revolutionized communication in the entire world. The use of internets is undoubtedly the most critical development of the twentieth and twenty first century. The internet is used in enhancing several practices as it quickens the exchange of information thereby speeding up the communication process and the accomplishment of tasks. Internet communication has been widely used in enhancing management activities especially so marketing improvement.
Different professions and professionals make use of the internet communication in simplifying the way they conduct their businesses. Graphic design and designers are among the beneficiaries of internet communication. Internet communication helps graphic designers in different ways bust most importantly in spreading their artwork to a wider coverage.
Graphic designers are taking advantage of the numerous communication aspects that are offered on the worldwide web to craft better pieces of artwork and spread them to the internet. Internet communication has enhanced the marketing of artworks which are made by the graphic designers.
Online systems have been developed to enhance the development and exchange of art works between graphic designers and also between the designers and their clients. A clear example is the web-to-print system which has proved to be highly effective for those who are already utilizing it in graphic design development.
There are many advantages as well as disadvantages of adopting and use of these systems by graphic designers. Literature has proved that these systems are far too sophisticated, and their utilization does not only enhance communication between designers and clients. It also enhances the quality of art work done by graphic designers. The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
There is only one significant disadvantage of these systems which is that they are expensive for graphic designers who are practicing design on a small-scale. These designers cannot easily afford the cost of acquiring digital systems on which the systems work. They cannot also afford online subscription fees which are expensive thence unsustainable to them.
This has a number of implications on graphic designers. It means that only a few graphic designers can adopt and utilize these systems in enhancing artwork. It also implies that the upcoming graphic designers cannot access and use these systems thence there is a limit to marketing their art work. This denotes that the internet can be an effective form of communication which can aid graphic designers in spreading their artwork to a wider network of customers.
However, there is one aspect of internet communication, which is still hindering the full muse by graphic designers. This concern is that internet communication is still expensive and cannot be afforded by many graphic designers. This limits the number of art work that is spread to the entire world. Small-scale designers can only afford to spread their pieces of work in localized areas where they can physically access.
With internet, communication comes social networking where different professions and business persona utilize social networking to promote their business and professions (Zimmerman, 2012). According to the information in literature, graphic designers have not been left behind in this area.
Most of them are either developing or joining online communities of designers. Through these online communities, the graphic designers have developed healthy relations, which are fostering the development of many varied artworks. The graphic designers have not taken the full advantage of the social networks to introduce artwork in the global market.
This is due to the challenges that are facing the graphic designers and the use of the internet. This leaves a vacuum which is created by the untapped potential in the utilization of internet communication to enhance marketing (Smith & Zook, 2011, Weinberg, 2009).
It is argued that the internet only benefits a fraction of graphic designers; those who have advanced and can acquire the relevant communication or internet enabler tools. These tools are still expensive to many designers rendering them unable to benefit from internet communication.
However, the rate at which graphic designers have been exporting their work to the internet is pleasant. Considerable achievements have been already made by those people who have managed to adopt internet use. With a little support, more achievements can be made.
With the utilization of the internet, online graphic design systems have been developed. The online graphic design systems help both the graphic designers and their clients. Once subscribed to these system networks, a person can export the products online which are then viewed and assessed by interested clients. The clients give comments, leaving the designers with a room to improve the art works making them attractive.
This is encouraging to graphic designers who can afford to pay the subscription fees because they are guaranteed of having their works reach many people. They also get a change on improving on them making them more appealing and more accessible to a larger number of clients. The development of more online graphic design systems will help in bringing down the cost of accessing these systems thereby enabling designers to use the systems.
Conclusion and recommendations
Internet communication is undoubtedly one of the best communication tools that can be used to enhance management at all levels. Unlike the old systems of communication, internets communication; the use of the worldwide web reaches the entire global so long as there is internet access.
Any piece of communication passed over the internet can easily reach people from all corners of the world. Graphic designers have been taking advantage of internet communication in reaching a larger market. The more the number of people who see the designs on the market, the more the number of clients that are gained graphic designers. More art works done by graphic designers have been able to reach the entire world through the utilization of internet in developing and displaying these products to a wider audience.
Internet communication has been resourceful in different aspects, in the graphic design industry. Training of graphic designers has been revolutionized through the adoption of internet technologies in learning graphic design. Learners can easily access learning materials via the internet thus expanding their knowledge base in the field of graphic design.
More attractive graphic design projects are also developed by virtue of information sharing and online collaborative working by students. Therefore, internet communication has increased the quality of studies in graphic design and development.
While many graphic designers envy the internet and would like to use it in marketing their products to a wider audience, they are still limited. These designers are limited by the expenses involved in acquiring and accessing online systems, which would help them market their produce to overseas clients.
The prevailing online art display systems are expensive for most designers. Stakeholders in this field have been seeking and planning on how to develop smaller, simplified and effective systems which would be utilized by the graphic designers who produce art works on a smaller scale. This will be effectively achieved through conducting digital assessment of the current digital systems. The assessment will give a clear basis on which to develop systems that can accommodate most if not all graphic designers.
This is a full management process requiring time and financial investment for good results. This is a positive idea which has to be backed by all the stakeholders in the graphic design industry. When these systems start functioning, many graphic designers will be able to have their products reach a large audience.
To fully maximize the use of internet communication in spreading art works of graphic designers in the world, there is a need to develop more online shopping sites. As it is today, there are a few online marketing sites that are dedicated to marketing art works made by graphic designers. An example of such online marketing sites is Drawshop.com which has been doing a horrendous job of displaying a range of art work.
Though it has done well, this site also deals with advertising and marketing of many other products. This limits its capacity to concentrate on the marketing of art works. This denotes that there is a limitation in online marketing means for art work. The developments of online marketing sites which specifically deals with the display and advertisement of art work made by graphic designers will be a positive step for the industry.
The other point that has to be given attention as internet communication is adopted in graphic design is diversity. Graphic designers have to learn to produce a vast range of artwork because of the increased number of clients. Internet communication is expected to expose the art work to many customers in different destinations and regions globally. To tailor-make the art work to suit the large number of customers, there is a need to come up with more graphic design programs.
A wide range of graphic design programs can offer the graphic designers with many design options on their products. Therefore, the designers have to learn to use more design programs which will add value to their products.
Graphic designers need not only to concentrate on reaching clients but also offering them a wide range of art work from which to choose from. There are better programs, which have been developed and can help in producing better art work. Technology has resulted in the development of three dimensional programs which enhance the variation in quality and variations in art works.
Online social communities are noteworthy given the value of internet in developing these communities. More online communities for graphic designers need to be developed. These communities will enhance dialogue between different graphic designers in different parts of the world.
Therefore, with online communities, more healthy conversations can be developed helping graphic designers in pulling up their minds and coming up with more creative art works. Through conversation, graphic designers get to know how to access certain markets by making art works that meet the demand of the clients found.
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