Sunday, October 28, 2012

724E Media Psych/McLuhan Tetrad

The tetrad is an “investigative framework,” (Ohler, 2010), for those trying to understand the impact of technology. To understand the effects of a medium, one must ask what will be gained, what will be lost, what will return and what will happen if the medium is pushed beyond it’s limit? McLuhan believed the answers would reveal the future of all technology. In my professional practice, I regularly use InDesign. As part of the Adobe Creative Suite, InDesign is useful for page layout and document creation. Specifically, graphic designers use InDesign to create flyers, brochures, publications, print ads, and posters. To develop a better understanding of InDesign and its effect on technology, I’ve used the tetrad to unpack the impact of this medium. Using InDesign has benefitted graphic designers. Most often times, a graphic designer will use Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator to create each piece of design. If the design needs to go to print, a layout of the final piece is needed. For example, if a company would like to print business cards using a newly created logo designed in Illustrator, the file would need to be created. In order for the company to print the business cards, a designer must lay out the cards to include not only the logo, but also the information necessary for the business cards. To do this, InDesign plays a crucial role. The logo is transferred into the program, and designed using typography, layout, live print area, and bleeds. This allows the printer to know what colors to print, what type to use, the size of the final card, and where to cut the paper. Using InDesign in tandem with Illustrator and Photoshop has made this process seamless. With a simple “drag and drop” process, files are transferred and updated immediately. InDesign has enhanced page layout, allowing designers to design across time and space as an extension of pre-existing programs. Designers continue to gain time and speed in their work, along with accuracy of the actual design. Integrity of the work is kept throughout the process. As always, as a new technology comes to light, an old technology must say goodbye. InDesign replaced PageMaker in 1999, as the premiere layout option for designers. PageMaker became archaic and was not compatible with the creative suite. While PageMaker has become obsolete, Quark is not far behind. Quark, another page layout program, has several characteristics of InDesign. However, it is not compatible with the Adobe programs. Where Quark is expensive, not user friendly and lacks in customer support, InDesign succeeds. With its success, InDesign could retrieve printing presses. The program has given designers an understanding of layout and print production. Understanding typography and it's impact to design could generate interest in the use of printing presses from past eras.  Looking toward the future of InDesign, it’s possible that the program could work to actually eliminate the very thing it was built for. While it’s primary purpose is for print, InDesign is capable of layout for ebooks or emagazines. It puts technology at the fingertips of anyone willing to try it. As I continue to use InDesign in my professional practice, the tetrad will play a large role to determine the future success of the program and how that will impact my career. McLuhan suggests that the laws of media come in hope but only work as questions. These questions will prove useful as a litmus test for years to come along with the understanding that the tetrad is not an exact science but a benefit for those luck enough to use it.  Reference:Dimitri (2008, September 7). Media : McLuhan/LawsOfMedia. Media: McLuhan/LawsOfMedia. Retrieved from Kristina , K. (Producer), & undefinedundefined (Director). (2007). McLuhan's Wake. [DVD]. Canada.Ohler, J. B. (2010). Digital Community Digital Citizen. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

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