The change and evolution of art trends

Melissa Nunez – General Assignment Reporter

A surge in technology is what transformed graphic design from an art form monopolized by print media to an area where mobile interface is at the forefront, said Kelly Carrington, graphic design professor.

“The trend is moving away from print. Print is still important, it is just taking on a different role than it had, using print in combination to on screen media,” said Carrington. “Getting your information online through mobile is really driving the design.”

Ben Asbell, senior graphic arts major, agreed with Carrington, saying while newer, simple mobile designs are innovative, some are criticizing their worth.

“A lot of designers are doing a lot flat design styles. You can see it on your phone, using a lot of solid colors with no gradients and solid shapes that look like paper cutouts,” said Asbell. “With mobile phones and so little screen space, they have to convey information in a way that looks big and easy to read. I kind of like the way it looks, some people think it has no merit but I think it could be used in interesting ways.”

Carrington added technological advancements have also innovated the job market in graphic design, creating a need for new design and development positions.

“Graphic design has expanded rapidly,” said Carrington. “There are different titles they are giving graphic designers, like fusionists, which is taking different technologies and coming up with visual solutions. Everything from avatar designers, to orchestrators, to virtual reality specialists.”

Carrington said, also as a result of evolving technology, other observable trends in graphic design are apparent as well, such as adaptation of virtual reality, as well as 3-D animation and special effects being utilized by the entertainment industry.

The trends between commercial and artwork can be found in several art mediums. Art styles can evolve and be represented in different formats.

Jeremy Chandler, photography professor, said, since photography “has one foot in the technical realm” it too advances along with it, while traditional concepts are still employed widely, camera-less and painter-like techniques are escalating in popularity.

“It is an exciting time for photography, there is a lot going on. You have photographers still doing traditional photography: using film, taking pictures,” said Chandler. “Then you have photographers who are appropriating imagery and there’s a trend in photography where it’s very painterly.”

Chandler said Doug Rickard exemplifies camera-less photography when utilizing Google Earth street view to find and appropriate jarring images, such as a car on fire, and then featuring the print in his galleries.

Chandler added Marco Breuer is an artist who exemplifies painterly techniques by manipulating photo paper and creating objects that closely resemble paintings.

“What [Breuer] will do with the photographic paper is burn it, scrape it, and develop it, then it will become this unique object,” said Chandler. “It is about the surface and material of the photograph paper. It is one of a kind, like a painting.”

Asbell said, while the digital age is proving to be an exciting time for art, in the future he would like to see inspiring artist and trends from the past incorporated in this transformative period.

“I am really interested in 20th century art but it was mostly dominated by print media. I think the artistic merit, blood, and sweat put into that work can totally be translated [digitally],” said Asbell. “They were incredibly brilliant people who made that artwork and it is just inspiring, I hope there is a stylistic homage that is paid to that and I hope people feel the same about that.”

Photo Credit: April Killingsworth


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