Twenty-some years ago, we found ourselves in awe of how computers and the internet changed so many aspects of life. Just when we thought technology had reached its peak, we were also blithely aware that more was going to unfold.
Today we can only look back at the impact the digital revolution made on how we communicate, the way we work, and even the way we socialize. Graphic design is no exception to this change. Technology now plays a major role in the creation of digital work available in many fields. Portfolio design, presentations, signage, logos, websites, animations and even architectural production have all traveled far since the dawn of the digital revolution.
Gone are the days when graphic design was solely focused on the obvious graphic elements of a product like its packaging and marketing materials. Technology has enabled brands to have more exposure online, allowing businesses to interact with their clients and consumers, which has also allowed us the ability to review and analyze real-time data to measure and see what sources are driving more traffic. We can actually analyze digitally the type of content and graphics that are getting more media impressions, more likes, more saves and, ultimately, are more appealing and converting to an audience.
With the internet as the major source of marketing and exposure, companies have invested so much ion content creation for customer communication, analytics and real-time feedback from consumers. Companies like Ikea and Johnson & Johnson employ the world’s most sophisticated marketing teams to spread their message and gain analytics across digital media globally. For example, according to the Digital Agency Network, Ikea launched a virtual-reality kitchen experience that brings you a life-size virtual IKEA kitchen. The pilot program is aimed at gathering feedback and suggestions from users. This is a great example of how companies are using analytics and customer feedback to improve their content marketing strategies and product offerings.
Content marketing and the evolution of graphic design for digital marketing is continuing to rise. One industry that is seeing the impact of this growth is the hotel industry. It is the amalgamation of creativity, technology and the right graphic and web design tools that made some businesses in the hospitality industry stand out from the rest. On paper, the last two years have been great for the hospitality industry, with digital marketing playing a huge role in generating revenue. Graphic design and quality content are influencing this, as content remains king. Hospitality giants like Virgin Hotels and Marriot are continuing to invest in modern marketing to boost occupancy rates and get heads in beds. Virgin Hotelshas seen an uptick in online bookings and is constantly A/B testing the content tiles on its website home page. These hotel brands can effectively generate engagement by presenting eye-catching graphics in online media to gain a competitive edge over others. Today’s hotel sites are no longer solely for contacts and reservations but also serve as a portfolio of the hotel’s interior design and amenities to gain critiques.
The visual power of graphic design is even inspiring companies to combine useful tools for the office. For example, Peerhatch, one of our clients, employs graphic designs to create customizable wall surfaces. With its collection of images that companies and workspaces can customize to fit their own spaces, they are able to create stunning visuals for any work area that lends itself to brainstorming, allowing employees a collaborative environment where all ideas feel welcomed. We have helped Peerhatch develop an effective communications strategy that incorporates modern content marketing campaigns to expand their exposure to its target market.
Along with the improvement of digital graphics technology, careers in this field have also evolved. Graphic designers are no longer glued to their workstations. With graphic design software now readily available on laptops and mobile phones through apps, it has made it much easier for them to work anywhere in the world, which also makes it easier for companies to outsource talent without having to hire in-house.
In 2016, Adobe made a whopping $5.85 billion compared to its $4.8 billion 2015 revenue. This figure represents what the company earned from its subscriptions that seamlessly connect Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator through its Creative Cloud. Graphic designers can now work anywhere they want and still be connected with their offices. This occasion led to the rise of freelance designers now working in their respective creative spaces anywhere in the world, which some companies have realized is much more cost-efficient than hiring someone in-house. Take Upwork, for instance. This company built its entire existence on the use of creative freelancers where companies, sole proprietors or individuals can source freelance talent by reviewing resumes, portfolios and reviews from clients in a matter of minutes.
Ian Ransley DESIGN
Ian Ransley is a Bay Area Digital Artist, Graphic Designer and Illustrator who has designed some of the most popular large-scale sporting and corporate events in the world.