Contributed an Article to the 2003 Design Industry Forecast

Choi, A. Y. (2003). “Ideas Are More Important in the Age of Technology Equalization.” DesignNet Magazine, Jan 2003, 22.

DesignNet Monthly Design Magazine in Korea


The global economy suffered a slump in 2002 due to the threat of international terrorism and the effects of science and technology, which also hit the graphics industry hard. Moreover, graphic designers continue to grow year after year, making it more difficult for them to be competitive in design unless they propose new designs in line with the times. It is essential to create and manage brand-oriented ideas and designs to convey them effectively in this rapidly changing era. Therefore, design education also needs to focus on marketing or branding.

Neo Modernism Era of Complex Simple Design
Now we live in the Neo Modernism era. Unlike the past Post-Modernism era, which caused visual confusion due to complex typography and image layers’ characteristics, graphic design in the Neo Modernism era pursues intricate, simple design using visual and fundamental typography. Unnecessary elements are eliminated, and only the necessary components for special message delivery are retained. Also, layout using white space and classic and modern typeface design is the mainstream. Due to these designs’ nature, 2003 designs will emphasize linguistic elements more than visual elements.

Branding Competition Era
The 21st century, in which networks are developed, will develop from labor-oriented to export-oriented. Competition between brands will intensify due to the general public’s tendency to consume famous brands due to the direction of luxury. Brands are the only way to survive in such an open international competition. A single corporate brand is sometimes valued higher than a country due to its influence on a country’s culture other than its economic value. Thus, enterprise identity system design and application design are the areas that design should emphasize above all else. It will be necessary for its successful development to pursue a localize strategy marketing that includes cultural elements while protecting its artistic subjectivity. This image takes into account regional characteristics rather than an integrated international image. In particular, Web sites’ active use is needed to recognize corporate images, introduce new brands, and extend brand strategies. With marketing that applies Nostalgia to consumers in target areas, designs to raise brand awareness will become more active.

The Age of Ideas
The 21st century is also called the information age. All information is now available to anyone without discrimination. Therefore, developing knowledge into an idea is emphasized more than any other time.
Graphic designers living in Neo Modernism, Branding Competition, and Information Age should think of ideas first. It is now too difficult to fully understand and efficiently use science and technology, such as digital printing technology and various design programs evolving day by day. Hoping to be a designer who can design all sorts of things, we can say that designers who have a professional understanding of a field and are good at ideas and brand strategies are designers of the 21st century. Design companies also have expertise in all areas of design, and carrying out projects in conjunction with companies in other fields is a way to increase the design industry’s competitiveness and increase the national brand’s value.

If Neo Modernism is aesthetics, then the brand is content, and the idea is the starting point of the design. Therefore, visual designers living in the Neo Modernism era should pay attention to the brand, focusing on idea creation rather than technology-dependent design.
Visual designers have a mission to express ahead rather than follow a changing society. So we have to think about what kind of world will unfold before us in 10 years.

New Year’s Issue
2003 Design Industry Forecast

Weather forecasts are always included in the news we encounter. Weather forecasting is everyone’s concern. We can check the various things that will happen tomorrow by weather forecasting. Should I meet the client in the park as promised, or at the hotel’s coffee shop, or continue with the company’s events? Various arrangements are made in a series of possibilities depending on time and place. It is time to spend 2002 and prepare for the new 2003. As we wonder about tomorrow’s weather, everyone in the design industry deserves to be busy preparing for 2003.

Predicting the design industry for 2003 is incomparable to predicting weather conditions, but through the best experts in each field, we have increasingly developed how we should prepare for 2003. In particular, keywords in various areas, such as graphics, animation, advertising, products, multimedia, and environment, are variously represented by branding, content, entertainment, virtual, serviceable, mobile, multimedia, etc., in the big topic of information or network era. Therefore, we hope to predict them by sector and prepare for changes in the design industry in advance.