At the same time graphic design becomes more dependent on technology. The US survey of the national graphic design industry has shown that the consumption of the professional equipment continues to grow: "Industry-wide equipment purchasing by design firms and freelancers is expected to grow from $211 million in 2004 to $250 million in 2009" (Naselli and Webb 2004). The good thing is that this indicates the market continues its growth. Not only the technology changes inner processes in every design firm; it changes the portrait of the industry itself.
The technology made designing processes more available (note that this does not mean 'easier' - it is still the skilled designer who plays the major role). For example, changes in the industry are now clearly visible through the domination of small firms. "Nearly 75% of design businesses employ 1 to 4 people, almost 90% have less than 10 employees50 largest firms comprise less than 1% of the number of establishments, but account for over 16% ($1.3 billion) of the industry's total billings" (Naselli and Webb 2004). Moreover, the increase of freelancer designers has clearly indicated that an average design company tends to decrease in staff members.
The main part of the essay is devoted to a more explicit look on the technologies that are perspective from a designer's viewpoint. What technologies will influence or even determine the future of design
Changes in Color printing
In the past the revolutionary 4-color printing technology has made it available even for the thriftiest companies to reach their customers with the help of graphic communication messages. Now the color printing itself is not innovative but there are lots of technological issues that distinguish a printing company of the future from their competitors of the past.
First of all, there is a very tight struggle for clients in the color printing, which generally can be applied to the whole design industry with its great amount of offers. "People in the world of the Web and in print publishing have to distinguish themselves from the pack and so making your message stand out is becoming more and more important." (Swanson 2000). Therefore a fight for the customer becomes very intensive. And some companies find their winning ways through technology.
Consider two main items: large format and software management information systems. First, screen printers, photo labs, reprographics houses, commercial printers, quick printers, and digitally-minded entrepreneurs have all invested in large format equipment, due to the fact it becomes cheaper with every day. Second, software management is a must-have solution not only for printers but for every business that wishes to stay on the market of tomorrow. According to Ted Strauss from Suttle-Strauss graphic communication solutions provider the company has recently put great effort into IT: "With the growth in the last five years, we have also put in a management information system, along with a dynamic scheduling system which has dramatically changed the way we do business". (Pellow 2005). Software management information systems allow the company to operate with increased speed and efficiency.
Wide format scanning
It seems logical that with the customer's desire to print a large image comes the opposite desire to store this image in the electronic format. Wide format scanning technologies are not completely new, but the reason they currently attract a