Interaction with Urban Spaces-Blog Post 2-Alex Bedard

Graphic design is a great way to deliver a form of interaction between viewer and maker; wether it be through posters, websites, or studio work. One form that is not discussed in our textbook and that it one of the best methods of interaction, is urban art, also known as environmental graphic design.

Environmental graphic design could include advertisements, however I’m more focused on installations that humans can interact with everyday.(could be interactive advertisements however) For example, the IBM outdoor ad. https://www.fastcompany.com/1683133/ibm-turns-its-ads-into-useful-urban-furniture

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IBM wanted to encourage people to make smarter decisions to better their own neighbourhoods. They created a bench, a shelter and a ramp, using their campaign. This is a great example of graphic design as it shows a smooth integration into our everyday lives and delivers a message through text and visuals. When graphic design is placed into our environment it automatically becomes part of your life. You start remembering the ad and seeing it everyday. A lot of the time we don’t even realize that these are advertisements, which I think is when you know it’s good. Not only is this piece communicating a message to anyone who is near it, but is also proves itself very useful, which makes it very practical.

I think that with what we see in our current textbook, it is safe to assume that we have a general history of graphic design through the years, however what I think is missing is a variety of types. Graphic design is more than typeset poster and propaganda; it’s also package design, street art, urban installations and web design. The textbook may show a few examples of these, but I think that with our modern society we need more focus on areas such as environmental graphic design. By doing so, we can incorporate more culture into the textbook.

This all goes to show that I think advertisements in urban spaces are the most effective use of graphic design and should be talked about more.

There are different types of environmental graphic design, such as branding, signage, wall graphics, interactivity, and social media.

According to Kory Lax from Imaginasium, it is inevitable that our environments will constantly change, as we have distinct groups of people. However, by creating engaging and interactive spaces like the IBM ad, there is not set target race, ethnicity or gender, and therefore environmental graphic design can reach out and engage anyone.

Works Cited:

Lax, Kory. “The Ultimate Guide to Phenomenal Environmental Graphic Design.” Imaginasium, 12 Feb. 2019, imaginasium.com/blog/environmental-graphic-design/.

Miller, Jennifer. “IBM Turns Its Ads Into Useful Urban Furniture.” Fast Company, Fast Company, 4 June 2013, www.fastcompany.com/1683133/ibm-turns-its-ads-into-useful-urban-furniture.

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