A 'real' job?

A designer's job nowadays involves a lot of simulation to get the product. The screen on my iMac is a simulated page, sometimes a simulated drafting table, sometimes a simulated reference library. Things get really wild when we fire up the 3D program used in some much of the work here, when you see an entire pretend universe hiding in there, complete with light sources, cameras, scenery and even gravity (if we turn it on that is!)

It is refreshing to see the actual end product one is commissioned to create make it into the 'real world' after so much, well, educated guess work! I think that no matter how clever the simulated measurements and colours I work with day in and day out are, seeing the final graphic fitting properly where it is to take its place in the world is its own reward.

I am in awe of the amount of engineering behind these simulations that make my job possible, and a little bemused that for a while now we have been seemingly replicating things that are familiar to us as digital versions. Things like the Stanley® spirit level app for your phone, or the digitally displayed analogue instruments in new cars complete with rendered shadows on the moving 'needles' as they race around the 'dial', but the one example that really makes me chuckle comes from the beginning of the digital graphics revolution - late '80s /early '90s - when software engineers made Microsoft Word's interface look somewhat like a typewriter, complete with 'tabs' and 'carriage returns'. Carriage returns? Really? Our keyboards even now still say 'Return' to advance the curser one line and back over to the left.

Maybe when we have finished 'porting' all our existing gadgets and systems into the digital realm, we may advance a further step and begin to create tools and devices that could only ever exist in the realm of the digit, and where will that take us?


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