Technology Up, Visuals Down

Templates make publications faster. They also kill design. (They make great slaves but lousy masters unless so well done, they facilitate development and efficiency while preserving quality). Rather, it seems online design has gained the proportion of banners and the rest is up for grabs. I must admit, and it is not sour grapes because I love the other side of technology, it is sadness that I feel when I see how ugly so many screens have become. I used to argue with the IT department where functionality won over aesthetics.

Screens, no matter the software that creates them, deserve to be beautiful. Are we not able to do that?? Do we have to jam screens with so much information that I feel overwhelmed just to look at it?? Then it becomes hard to see anything!

Why do publications need to look so dry? Do people not see the screen as an art form, as is print? I admit that a lot of my illustrations are treated like copy separating banners. My favorite form is the PDF which I think can best be a visual treat for the viewer. I don’t know about anyone else, but I love to look at beautiful and interesting pictures!!

Compare for example, one of my most recent articles in two identical forms where I interviewed a virtual real estate mogul who earns a real living in Second Life©. Please click on these two links and compare the forms in the two windows:

1. The article “Land Lover: Katya Dirval” as it appears in Bowler Business Review using IntelliMagazine in-world as a downloadable PDF online.

2. Click on the online article “Land Lover: Katya Dirval.”

Place these two windows side-by-side. Which form do you like better?

I maintain that as technology gets more powerful, the visual craft of presentation goes down. It would be great to hear from you about your opinion. —Always inspired, Liane


About wisdomofwork

I have a passion for publishing: I wear a designer's hat, editor's coat, and publisher's shoes. See more about my work at
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