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Editor’s Column

This is a challenging time to be a visual communi­ca­tor. While the expanding economy has created more demand for our services, smaller budgets and tighter schedules require us to do more for less.

The explosion of new media channels and our society’s exodus from traditional sources of information have made it harder to reach a defined audience with a unified message. While design awareness is at an all-time high, the perceived value of design as a bottom-line contributor appears to have changed very little. 

Despite all this, our optimism remains high. The ever broadening media landscape means new opportunities for growth, both creatively and financially. Our challenge is to report on a field whose boundaries are changing so quickly as to defy categorization.

The immediate future looks bright. According to a TrendWatch Graphic Arts survey conducted in the summer of 2005, 36% of design and production firms expect business in the next 12 months to be excellent, better than the last 12 months, up from the 33% who said this 6 months earlier.

Packaging Call for Entries
We were so impressed with the quantity and quality of packaging submissions to last year’s Design Annual, we wanted to take a closer look in a feature article. In order to provide an overview of what’s happening in one of the most visible design disciplines, we’re asking you to submit consumer package designs that have been produced within the last two years and that have not appeared previously in the pages of CA. After reviewing the submissions, we will select what we feel are the best examples and publish the results in our May/June 2006 issue. Please submit the actual printed project, transparency, digital file or hard copy printout (if your project is selected, we will contact you for final reproduction materials and complete creative credits), with a brief description of the purpose to: Rebecca Bedrossian/Packaging Design, Communication Arts, 110 Constitution Drive, Menlo Park, California 94025. Pieces to be returned must be accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope or your Federal Express number. Submissions must be received no later than February 1, 2006.

Communication Arts PhotoCards
This issue inaugurates a new promotional vehicle we’ve created for photographers. In the back of this issue is a series of PhotoCards featuring the work of photographers whose work has appeared in our Annuals. A single image from each photographer is reproduced along with information on their specialty, philosophy and contact information. Each of the cards is perforated for easy removal so you can organize them to best suit your needs. Additional PhotoCards from these same photographers will also appear in the May/June and September/October issues. —Patrick Coyne ca

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