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Summary: The Technology &
Materials Used in Graphic Design

On Thursday 19th of February 1998, I have visited the Medical Illustration and Media department. It was a department located in Flinders Medical Centre.

The team consists of eleven Graphic Designers working in a fairly small sized office. The purpose or aims at this branch are to provide banners, reports, proofing and posters for the medical centre as well as working for other businesses and individuals. Illustrations are mainly produced to assist in medical use and conferences etc. Basically, any graphic design material in the medical centre comes from this department. This department also deals with promoting through the media, such as advertisements.

In this department, technology is a need because it deals with all aspects of graphic design. Without these technologies, their design work can not be achieved, as all their work is relied on the use of computers 99.99% of the time. The use of computers nowadays has affected designers, as they change from manual hand drawings to computer art. Evidence shows that outside the computer room lies a drafting board that was once a favourable way of drawing, but not being used. I saw no proof of any manual drawing equipment in the working area. This movement is an advantage, because it can save time and money and more efficient. For example, images can be scanned quickly with a scanner and enhanced in minutes, whereas compared to the old method of hand drawing, it may take a few days to complete.

The change in technology is also affected by the consumer needs. Consumers are now demanding for more quality work and the speed of the completion. They are very critical for colour and begin to understand what is good and what doesn't.  In the medical centre, these demands are overcome by using more high quality and costly equipment, such as better colour printers and photocopiers, expensive paper, replacing old computers with faster ones and introducing new drawing programs on the computers. On the other hand, this may mean that consumers will have to pay more for good quality work.

The move had changed the way of design. In todays' graphic design, hand drawing is not a skill you need compared to what was many years ago, but the knowledge of computers. To become a graphic designer, you must study Design or Art and English in year 12 with the presentation of a set of design work. It will take 3 years to complete the course for the Bachelor of Visual Communication. The types of jobs may include graphic arts, photography, composing and visual merchandising etc.
In conclusion, after the visit to the medical centre, a graphic design can be referred to a piece of work created by the use of a technology and a graphic designer is someone who must know how to use a computer, not necessarily a good drawer.