New Media Design - A Trip to Our Own Future
I recently received and read a book from Laurence King Publishing, out of London, called New Media Design. It's written by Tricia Austin and Richard Doust. It should be coming out in October or November 2007 and, other than the boring title, I think it's a good read.
Why don't I like the title? I'll get to that later.
The authors layout an intuitive and rather linear approach in explaining "old media", media developed before computers, and "new media", media developed since the advent of computers and the Internet. They provide a detailed explanation of the design and creative processes, complete with vocabularies and Glossary, and write a detailed description of what the Internet environment is and how it has changed things.
Many of the diagrams and other visuals that help describe and visualize this "new media" are extremely interesting and require additional study. They also include exposés of contemporary designers and companies who represent the information presented. That's a good touch. (Too many Londoners, in my view, but that's where the book and authors are from.) One of the most interesting diagrams for me is on the differences between conventional and digital graphic design workflows (page 126). It's amazing how many tasks we now do from our own computers.
For me, the most interesting portion of this book is the Imaginary World chapter. It's all about virtual graphic design, simulations, digital effects, and computer gaming and is pretty thorough in the descriptions and how-tos in getting involved in this area.
The last, and probably most important (for some), section in the book is on qualities designers in this day-and-age need in order to move forward and succeed. They talk about freelancing, collaboration, getting your first job, and how to tell people about your work.
Austin and Doust do a grand job in presenting the background and current environment in the digital design age. As fast as things are going, this book will need to be updated in a year or two. The book is a good read for folks who want to get a taste of what's out there these days and also for those who may suddenly realize that they need to brush up on their skills. Design students and instructors will like this book, too.
**(Now, about the title. I was never a fan of calling things, such as media, "new" or "old". In the late '90s, we called digital, graphic design "multi-media", remember? I would have thought the authors would've titled the book something like "Contemporary Digital Design" or "Digital Design in an Imaginary World" or even "Digital Design in the 21st Century". Whatever the title, it's still a good book.)**