The designers of today are a lucky-ish bunch (It wasn’t always so, I tells ya!)
We are beginning to see a fantastic new array of markets and opportunities to show off our design chops and the general climate seems to be one of focused, elegant realism with a dash of textured background. (OK,OK, there is a lot of fluffy hipster white noise around, as always, but I assure you we are in a better place than 2006!)
The dark times are almost gone. The pompous, slow, overly complex and deliberately obtuse flashy Flash websites are making way for the new post-PC web and connected device infrastructure.
Fortunately for us designers, these new canvasses seem to value (or at least tolerate) clean, user-focused design over the frankly horrendous pop-up-flash-banner-ad commoditised SEO overdrive that we got ourselves into in the mid 2000s.
There’s a whole chapter to be said on where the modern web is headed. The value of reclaiming the quality and control of web and app design over the commoditised content nightmare that has hindered the “Google age” and then the “social age” of the web – but that is for another day!
Today, all I want to say is that sometimes you are still shocked as a designer to receive a peculiar retro project.
No, not a 2005 era, completely un-navigable car manufacturer flash mini-site…
I’m talking about the case and artwork for a CD-ROM.
“Wow! So theystill exist?”
I’m in two minds about such projects. Part of me wants to SCREAM that we have moved so far from sticking disks in desktops to play clunky multimedia clips and flash content.
But, there are obviously still some markets that may just support such old school media. (Like old Schools perhaps? It was actually a project for the education market).
And then there are ye olde set in their ways businesses – or paranoid, panic-stricken, security conscious internet-less flat earthers, as we might call them. Surely massive markets that are worth developing for in 2012?
Anyway… Designing the CD-ROM artwork all seemed so wonderfully otherworldy. Delicately fashioning the case artwork from some lovingly stored stock brand elements. Carefully etching the CD artwork with a vintage 2 year old version of Illustrator. Then standing back to gaze at the final result (beautifully printed on some cheap 80gsm paper on the shared company laser printer).
It was all so old fashioned and “solid”. Like dry stone walling or thatching for the digital age – it’s a skill, but one that can only really be done by a few specialist craftsmen.
Actually, scratch all that misty eyed rose tinted rubbish!
CD-ROMs were ALWAYS terrible (particularly those horrible wastes of space that passed for educational CD-ROMs!) So, good luck to the client, but really… I mean REALLY, you don’t need CD-ROMs in 2012.