Hello from the 21 Century!
One of the things that I’ve most enjoyed about my career has been consistently being able to engage with new types of design and print technology. I’ve worked on Macs since 1988, and in 1993 I started really learning how to design with them. I taught myself Quark Express, cranked out a few publications, and never stopped from there on, constantly learning as I engaged with each new piece of hardware and software.
Last night, I downloaded the WordPress App for iPad, and decided that I would try to use my iPad in tandem with my new Apple wireless keyboard as a sort of deluxe, very low-profile laptop. 90% of what I do on my laptop I can now do on my phone – just not as conveniently. But, thought I, do I really need to lug around a laptop just to be able to send an email or two, or post to my blog, or work on a single presentation? Why not try the iPad?
And, so, after some technical maneuvering with the wireless keyboard, here I am, merrily typing away with no visible connection between the screen, the keyboard, or any sort of power source.
This, my friends, was science fiction when I was a child. I find that thought incredibly exhilarating.
I was just at the Game Designers’ Conference ((I’m going to come back and add a link here – and at a few places above. That will be after the fact, however – because the initial Post interface here on the iPad is making it very difficult to post links or add photos on the fly. More about that later.)) last week in San Francisco, and I was awestruck at some of the pieces of software I saw on the floor, freely available. I watched a young guy generate an entire 3D city – streets, buildings, alleys, streetlights, topography – in less time than it will take me to write this post.
It seems to me that we’re going to see a shift in the types of tools we, as designers and creatives, are going to have to start using in our work practices. Photoshop and Illustrator and InDesign simply no longer seem to be enough to stay at the forefront of design and technology. They are useful tools, certainly, but they are now as ubiquitous as your average kitchen-drawer Phillips head, and simply being able to use them no longer commands a working wage in the marketplace.
But there is always value in good design, and incredible toolsets are out there for anyone willing to explore. And, thus, I’m trying to engage with the new tools at my disposal; thus, the iPad and the wireless keyboard.
I have some thoughts on the interface that I’m learning about, and some questions. But, for the first time, I think this is wonderful! I’m looking forward to seeing what my new tools can do for me, and how I can use this to add some value to my next project.