The dictionary defines a graphic designer or graphic artist as one who specializes in the art or profession of visual communication that combines images, words, and ideas to convey information to an audience, especially to produce a specific effect. And while this is a broad definition of what graphic designers do, I prefer the definition of a graphic designer as a person who specializes in visual communication through a skillful combination of text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, books, etc.for print, the web and other media.
But the most awesome description (in my opinion), was coined by the Walt Disney Company with the term “imagineers“.
According to Wikipedia, “The term Imagineering, a portmanteau, was popularized in the 1940s by Alcoa to describe its blending of imagination and engineering, and was adopted by Walt Disney a decade later to describe the skill set embodied by the employees of WDI, known as Imagineers.
Imagineering is responsible for designing and building Disney theme parks, resorts, cruise ships, and other entertainment venues at all levels of project development. Imagineers possess a broad range of skills and talents, and thus over 140 different job titles fall under the banner of Imagineering, including illustrators, architects, engineers, lighting designers, show writers, graphic designers, and many more.”
The internet and the computerization of traditional design tools has vastly changed the skill set and job tasks of what a commercial graphic designer traditionally used to do. The web has opened a whole new field in design that is suited specifically for this medium rather than traditional print media, although both skills sets are still used by many graphic designers.
I am always amazed at the creative uses that are becoming available with interactive media tools. This animator has combined an animation and included QR codes (of his other popular animations of course, I tested the codes with my mobile phone barcode scanner app) to promote his brand on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Not just a rhetorical design question anymore —rich media is another term for the word that most people are familiar with interactive “multi-media”. And rich media development and techniques are rapidly being used and developed in order to deliver interactive banner ads and other media that enables the user to interact with the media provided whether it is a video, website or other form of advertising. One stellar example is Youtube mentioned in Mashable’s article “Youtube Launches Skippable Ads” which recently developed the option for end users to choose what advertising they want to watch!