Derek Yates – Communication Design

IMG_4167Derek Yates came to speak to us on the 4th of January to talk about his book and the concepts behind it, his book titled Communication Design: Insights from the creative industries takes findings from not only his own thoughts as a graphic design tutor but also from the thoughts of many big names in the industry such as Moving brands, Its Nice That and Adrian Shaughnessy to name a few.

I was more interested than most as this closely links to my planned dissertation for my final year so wanted to find out a bit more about what he had to say and if it could help with my final draft in anyway.

Yates started by telling us that the book was written from the student perspective to consider the changes in industry and design in general in the last 20 years. talking about how design isn’t just posters and logos anymore, design extends across different platforms to give an overall experience. Yates spent two years out of his 20 year career to try and understand the landscape of contemporary communication design by talking to design agencies and evaluating his own teaching style.

IMG_4170‘It is not about marketing, advertising, graphic, interaction, or even digital design—it’s about all of these disciplines and the spaces that connect them. It’s about a new generation of collaborative designers that are creating visual experiences that connect across media channels.’

Yates found at that good communication designers are in greater demand than ever before because they create experience that alter perceptions and influence choice.
It became clear that the thing Derek wanted us to understand the most is that these experiences cross media and designers need to live in both the digital and physical worlds and students need to understand the importance of both print and digital media.

print-5Derek stated that good designers define experiences, experiences that explain and make you understand and experiences that create profit but also heal. Graphic designers must now learn to create systems, prototypes and tools.
These things then lead to works like the little printer which is a till roll style printer made by berg who make cloud services for hardware innovators and strongly believe connected products are the future. The Little Printer is web connected and allows you to receive newsfeeds, social alerts, games, puzzles, illustrations, messages and photos from anywhere in the world from multiple sources straight to a printed form which you can hold and experience in a physical form.

olo-videoThese tools can also be used for more play based systems like Apps the most aesthetically pleasing of which is the OLO App Game. OLO was created by Sennep an interactive design studio forming in 2007 originally specifying in e designing websites who now apply there skills to games, installations, mobile and apps and integrate social media where appropriate. There website states they have ‘an ambition to create something memorable, beautiful and useful’ which I feel perfectly sums up the lesson which Yates was trying to teach us.
The OLO app began its very successful life as an experiment to improve the agencies skill in coded animation and was never intended to become a finished product, the App has since won many awards in its field and is highly regarded by the pioneers of app based design Apple.

Yates finished by telling us his best advice for students in this statement:
          ‘Prove it! Test it! And Make something that allows you to do that’

I thoroughly enjoyed the session with Derek Yates and feel all his points were valid and that as students we do need to learn to collaborate, cross disciplines and learn to adjust to a more open and interactive world. I very much look forward to reading his book once it is published.

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