Graphic design and the web

There seem to be several conversations about graphic design and the web (and apps) these days. The argument is usually “good ol’ simple html” vs. “sleek yet bloated pages”.

I come from the design camp.

When I started working in the late ’80s it was the early days of desk top publishing. Apple had just introduced the Macintosh and most of all the first Laser Writer. Suddenly everybody with a Mac could use 14 font families. And many were using all 14 of them. On the same page.

But then real designers started using this amazing technology, and for a few years we all had fun.

Then the web came about, and we were forced give everything up.

The advantages of the web were so huge that we just had to live with very limited design capabilities. Only a handful of fonts. Layouts impossible to experience in the same way across different browsers and operating systems. Crazily nested tables to try to get a bit of information where we wanted on a page. It was ugly, but it was beautiful.

15 years later we are experiencing again the possibility of doing beautiful design, this time on the web.

I think that we are again in an “all fonts on the same page” period. It’s exhilarating, and it will take a little while before real design will start happening again.

And it will be beautiful.