the wwweb connection

More and more, the web is intertwined with graphic design, as the web has become the main means for recognition & usability…. which means that the graphic designer needs to develop basic skill sets in web design and construction. Languages are a big part of that: CSS, PHP, HTML5, Flash (on its way out). With each language/system there is a different security and coding.

And because it’s a relatively new industry, the rate of change is super high right now as there is any time in the exploration of a new realm. And there are varying systems, Apple vs Android, for example (below). The key then, for the graphic designer, is MENTAL FLEXIBILITY. (Tony introduced the concept of “the Long Tail” – there are fewer people making a living but more people in the game.)

Gorilla marketing was a way to spread fast word, through physical/tangible means, and because of the web’s progressive presence, its concept has been incorporated to the web, with viral marketing.

The idea behind anything “viral” is just like an illness…. once it gets going, it goes fast and freely….Whether something goes viral or not, was originally spontaneous….. but marketers are picking up on that channel of “word of mouth” in cyberspace and creating intentional viral marketing…and so what it is that makes it go? why to people want to spread it (whatever IT may be)?

Common characteristics are in the emotional responses that they evoke… usually there are elements of humor, mystery, sexuality, spectacle and leaving people either wanting to learn more, or wanting to find some answer. It can be a hoax, can be controversial, or stupid.

Some of them are funny… like “Awesome Girls Fail,” an entertaining compilation of lots of accidents. Others are more serious, such as a Mexican teacher’s bravery among drug shootings.

T-mobile maximized the opportunity of the Royal Wedding (anticipation of an event) for their own version of the “House of Love” ceremony… which did indeed end up going viral.

Along with these new forms of spreading the word, and working through the internet have developed the web-version (internet, email, etc.) of etiquette, otherwise known as “Netiquette” (network etiquette). Entire websites are dedicated to this. They are pretty straight forward, and remind me of “everything you ever learned in kindergarten…” although a little more formal – with references to facts and documentation, which don’t matter so much in a sand box.

With web becoming a main means of recognition and usability, all of this matters to graphic designers. The web is intertwined with graphic design heavily now, and so a basic skill set with web knowledge, languages included, is essential.


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