Product design: Graphic products- Unit 3- Design in context

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Design in context
1. The effects of technological changes on society
What are 6 impacts mass production has had on the consumer society?
Industrialisation and specialisation led to changes in production, the workforce, transportation and
Population explosions occurred in towns and cities where production was centred and a new urban way of
life was created. So more people needed more products and mass production responded to this need.
Throwaway society- with an increasing demand for convenience products such as fast food and over
As peoples standard for living improved, their demand for new products increased.
Advertising and marketing became an important new industry, using market research, packaging and product
styling to sell new products.
In the mid-1950s a new customer society was developing. It started primarily in America and soon spread to
Europe- the teenager was born. Up until this point young men and women wore the same type of clothes as
their parents and listened to the same type of music. The advent of Rock n roll was to change all that and
soon teenagers were rebelling against their parents
Children are now also targeted to get them interested in products at a young age.
What is build-in-obsolescence?
A method of stimulating consumer demand by designing products that wear out or become outmoded after limited
What is an example of this?
In the 1930s an enterprising engineer working for General Electric proposed increasing sales of flashlight lamps by
increasing their efficiency and shortening their lifespan. Instead of lasting through three batteries he suggested that
each lamp last only as long as one battery.
What are 4 forms of built in obsolescence?
Technological- occurs mainly in computer and electronic industries where companies are force to introduce
new products with increased technological features as rapidly as possible to stay ahead of the competition.-
mobile phones with image capture almost immediately superseded by phones with moving image capture.
Postponed- occurs when companies launch a new product even though they have the technology to realise a
better product at the time ­ it is not unrealistic to imaging that when Sony launched its PD3 games console it
knew what its next generation game console would look like
Physical- occurs when the very design of a product determines its lifespan- disposable or consumable items
such as light bulbs and ink cartridges for printers
Style- occurs due to changes in fashion and trends where products seem out of date and force the customer
to replace them with current trendy goods- high-street summer/winter fashion collections.
What are 5 effects mass production has had on employment?
Craftsperson was replaced by low-skilled workers in highly mechanised factories.
Low skilled equalled low wages and the employment of women and children in sweatshop type factories.
This led to workers uprising and the development of trade unions aimed at combining poor conditions,
poverty and the increasing pollution brought about by industrialisation.
Use of highly automated production and assembly lines has led to workforce required in many factories.
Higher skilled, higher paid jobs are required to set up and maintain machinery.
Low skilled and low paid workers are utilised on production lines for specialised respective tasks which can
lead to very poor job satisfaction and morale.
What are 6 impacts computers have had on the development and manufacture of products?
The digital age has brought about change to which business has responded by providing quick turnaround
jobs to meet client needs.
Printers are capable of producing short full-colour runs with extremely fast delivery times and product
designers are able to dramatically reduce development times and costs.

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The use of computers in pre-press means that information can be stored and transferred digitally so designs
can be quickly developed in consultation with the client.
Once designs are finalised, printing plates can quickly be produced using computer-to-plate technology. This
cuts out the long process of producing printing plates and instead data is transferred directly to a laser
engraver that forms the plate.
Printing costs can be significantly reduced with digital printing machines that can operate up to 14,000 pages
per hour.…read more

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Immediate visual identification of temperature
Safety feature
Aesthetic novelty appeal
What are 2 disadvantages of thermochromic pigments?
Limited colour range
Not possible to engineer accurate temperature settings to colour changes
What is smart fluid?
Used in cars suspension system to dampen the ride depending upon road conditions e.g. second generation Audi TT.
The fluid contains metallic elements that alter the viscosity of the fluid when the magnetic field is applied.…read more

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Simplicity- interiors were visually simplistic by removing clutter and including suitable proportioned
furniture, which provided and practical and clean living environment. Furniture was humbly constructed with
minimal ornate decoration
Splendour- the arts and crafts approach to design led to designers often experimenting with different
materials and new techniques in artistic ways
Nature- Natural plant, bird and animal forms were powerful source of inspiration. The use of stylised flower
patterns emulating the natural rhythms and patterns of plants and flowers were a reflection of purity
approach.…read more

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Modernist architects and designers rejected the old style of designing based upon natural form and
They believed in the machine aesthetic which celebrated new technology, mechanised industry and modern
materials that symbolised the new 21st century.
Modernist designers typically rejected decorative motifs in design and the embellished surfaces with art,
preferring to emphasise the materials used and pure geometrical forms.…read more

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Who was Eileen Gray?
Born in Ireland to a wealthy family of artists and began her university career at the Slade School of Fine Arts in
London as a painter.
In 1912 she held her first exhibition, showing some decorative panels at the Salon des Artists Decorateurs in
Here she successfully combined lacquer and rare woods, geometric abstraction and Japanese- inspired
motifs into her work.
In 1924 Gray and Badovici began work on their vacation house, E-1027 in southern France.…read more

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Its philosophy of an ideal perfection, harmony of form and function and dismissal of decoration was at odds
with contemporary designers who wanted individualism and personality back into design
`Less is a bore!' expressive and individual as opposed to modernist functionalism
What is the style of the post-modernism movement?
Humour and personality- products were bright and colourful like children's toys, often including
unnecessary decoration in an attempt to give static objects personality.…read more

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What does the designer do to make sure the product fits most of the population?
The designer ignores the smallest (5 per cent) and tallest (5 per cent) users and designs the product to fit the
remaining 90%, therefore including most of the population but not the extremes.…read more


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