Back in the Day
The Evolution of Graphic Design


More than 20 years have passed since I graduated from Emporia State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Photography and Graphic Design. I learned a lot about art by taking classes in illustration, color theory, photography, 3-D design, glass blowing, ceramics, printmaking, and Art History. I feel like school prepares us for the basics to land that first job, but that first job shapes us and allows us to define the way we work and design. If I could offer advice to future artists and designers, it would be this; Do more than expected, be self-motivated, think strategically, hone your craft, and invite criticism.

Back in the day, which was somewhere around the mid-90s, the internet was really not much of a thing. Most everything graphic design related was through print. The first digital camera I used saved onto a 3.5 in. floppy disc which was around 1.4 MB. Now we have digital SLR cameras that save raw files around a minimum of 25 MB. Not to mention; the internet . . . at that time I would have never guessed it would play such a large part in our daily lives? It really has replaced libraries, shopping stores, music CDs, etc. As an Art Director, I have the privilege of leading campaigns in new and exciting types of media. It is a challenge reshaping your canvas, so to speak, and adjusting to designing in the digital spectrum of things like website design, html5 ads, flat digital ads, and apps. However, I’ve learned that if you don’t keep up with the latest and greatest, you get left behind.

So, what does the future hold? Every year we have new and exciting design trends, as well as, the recycling of vintage or older trends. Design changes, but still stays the same. Making ads aesthetically and stylistically pleasing - while applying your client's message - will always stay the same. I am excited to see the new types of media that we will be able to work with. One of the favorite aspects of my job is the challenge of using these types of media to successfully come up with a campaign that works for our clients. Who knows, maybe your next advertisement will be a hologram or a voice text?

- Shane Beck | Art Director