Websites with up to date critical writings on graphic design?

Hi all,

Does anyone know of any websites with critical writings on graphic design? Ideally from the past 10 years.
This is a good example of what I am looking for: https://readings.design/

I am writing an essay on handcrafted design in the digital age and haven’t been able to find may writings that are from the past decade :slight_smile:

Any suggestions appreciated.

Clare

Graphic design is philosophy-based, which is either timeless or trendy. Graphic production is technology-driven, which evolves over time. Are you more interested in philosophy, or technology?

If you’re in school you should have access to an online database. I’d highly recommend utilizing that as a resource, as those writings are peer reviewed.

You shouldn’t limit yourself to the past 10 years, as you may find designers in the 70’s–00’s talking about their thoughts on the future of handcrafted design in the emerging digital age.

Another place to get inspiration is from the Bauhaus, as they really revolutionized “handcrafted design”. You can compare and contrast what they were creating by hand, with what people are creating digitally today.

To put it informally and very briefly, my essay critically analyzes the pros and cons of digital design in contrast to a handmade aesthetic or elements of handmade integrated into graphic design - and is leaning more towards the benefits of integrating handmade elements as the positive, and more importantly, combining digital and handmade. It also has a strong focus on the process and connecting with an audience. [Excuse my grammar, my brain is tired.]

So, a few of the points I am covering are 1. Humanness - how handcrafted design connects with viewers/imperfection as a positive/helps designers distinguish themselves from others/uniqueness. 2. Process: analog processes allow for spontaneity and chance in design. Positive accidents. Also touching on the process of experimentation and chance etc. 3. Tangibility and sensory experience (handmade elements as signifiers for tactility and tangible materials) 4. Hybrid/the in between - so ways that designers have incorporated elements of handmade and digital/ included imperfection in digital design/ reconnected through other means such as AR and interactivity.

I know the above doesn’t sound very clear for the focus but it is for my planning! I just summarized it as much as possible here.

Those are all very brief points and there is alot more in the essay of course, as well as, much more formal writing! But would you say that including some critical writings that are still relevant but are quite old is still acceptable here? For example, a paper on the process of handcrafted design and its benefits (so this would still be applicable today)

I am finding it so difficult to add in more up to date resources. But this topic is still relevant, and designers are incorporating handmade elements into digital design. Another area of interest is trends that promote imperfection: glitch art/asymmetry etc.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Also a big thank you for the Bauhaus tip. My link to history was quite stuck on the functionalism and objective aesthetic of swiss style but Bauhaus could add in a lot more substance for that part.

[If you are wondering at all why I am asking on here rather than my tutor, I am an online student, so I don’t really have the opportunity for discussion and feedback beyond my tutor every 24 hours. Plus, my tutor can only give limited feedback for assessments and chatting to classmates isn’t an option. So this forum has been a huge help!]

Here’s a great example

It shouldn’t matter how old a critical writing is if it is relevant to the subject. I’d argue that you could use an academic paper on Egyptian hieroglyphs from the 18th century to talk about handcrafted design.

I think you have to ask yourself whether you’re writing this to prove a point, or if you’re righting this to explore an idea. If it’s the former, then you will be scouring the web for relevant arguments that support your bias. If it’s the latter, you will find yourself exploring new ideas, from sources new and old, which may lead you to try new things in your practical application of design. And you may also teach your prof. some new things too.

Not to add more kindling to the fire, but I remember writing a paper on haptics and the difference between reading paper books vs digital books. While researching I found it interesting that different parts of the brain are used when reading a paper book compared to a digital one. That wasn’t to say that reading paper books is better than reading digital ones, it was just different parts of the brain being used for the same task.

I think the same, or similar can be said for handcrafted design vs digital design. If I were in your shoes, and I was writing the same essay, I would look into neurology, and how those different mediums affect/interact with the brain, when creating handcrafted vs digital design.

Digital design isn’t necessarily “web-view” only.
As noted elsewhere on this same topic with this same poster, Print can be just as digital as web, until the print is set on paper. Then it is your “book,” not a monitor screen.
Want some interesting studies in Digital vs Analog? Check out some of the research done with kids in the experiential design areas, comparing hands on building-block “analog” interactives, vs video game controlled “digital” interactives.

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