Design48 is the showcase for my digital art.

- Marte Thompson

Design48 - Where Technology is an Art...
  Much has changed in the field of Graphic Design since the introduction of the computer as a production tool! We designers have hardly had time to catch our breath. I would dare say that our occupation has been changed by the computer more than any other occupation has.

A Brief History of Design

What used to be called "commercial art" is now almost exclusively produced on a computer with software such as Adobe Photoshop. A certain amount of planning and preliminary thought processes are still done with pencil and paper, but most of the production process is done with software. It wasn't always so.

Microsoft went public in 1986. Until then, most of the commercial art and graphic design world was still working on a drafting table. Things changed rapidly after that year. By the early 90's it was assumed that computer graphics was a major part of the job of a designer. He was expected to learn software programs with ease, and to be as proficient with a mouse as he had been with a pen, or the ever present xacto blade. "Cut" and "paste" had always been literal terms.

CADAM, computer aided design, had been around in industry for a decade already, but most CADAM operators were engineers or industrial designers, not artists.

Designers who were involved in the printing industry were trained to prepare their art for "prepress," through a complex and precise photographic process. Not anymore.

By 1993, Photoshop was quickly replacing the darkroom. Also in 1993, Jurassic Park was released, as well as Mortal Combat. These two productions dramatically raised the bar for visual arts, comparable to the marketing revolution in the 1970's that changed from sketches of fashions, almost exclusively to photographs. Suddenly, the consumer demanded hyper slick 3D photographic perfection. The ultimate illusion of reality, surrealism.

Then came the internet revolution...

Before 1995, "the internet" was a nebulous term, the way that "computer" had been in the 1970's. Some people had email, and they considered themselves way over the top technologically.

By 1997, everyone was appending an "e" to words like "business" and "commerce." By 1998, designers who did not know HTML could not find work. And that was just the beginning. Designers who had just climbed the mountainous learning curve of drafting table to computer gazed up in wonder at the sheer cliffs of web technology.

By the millenium, the internet was in every home and office, and we all acted like it always had been. Like light bulbs and flush toilets, we couldn't imagine life without it.