Digital design a growing trend in the fashion industry
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Published on February 24, 2014
Newcomers to the world of fashion design might be initially focused on improving their artistic abilities, practicing endlessly with pens and paper, but the industry is changing. As computer technologies, such as Adobe Illustrator, become further ingrained in the industry, training across screen-related mediums is becoming more important. While knowing how to artfully sketch out designs on paper-hewn mannequins is still a worthwhile skill, new students of the craft should consider turning their attention to the innovative way that leaders in the industry are augmenting their production.
Digital prints thriving
The role of electronic media, such as Adobe Illustrator, in print and magazine has long been the standard for the fashion industry. You can find lavish gowns draped across celebrities, new accessories highlighted with kitschy phrases and selling points, and all varieties of makeup and beauty paraphernalia drawn on the faces of smiling models, but those images didn't appear there by themselves. Whether you're aiming for a career designing wearable products or working on fashion marketing, the whole spectrum of this genre is becoming integrated with a very digital component.
According to The Next Web, even the idea of a runway show has evolved across a digital landscape. Before, a group of editors, writers, celebrities and a random mismatch of people who hoped get a glimpse of the latest trends would crowd around the stage, gazing up at the clothes walking by. Now, if you're pursuing a career in this industry, you're likely going to encounter instant feedback from runway shows and the expectation that images of these designs be ready for online publication that evening or early the next morning. Speed and immediacy are hallmarks of the beauty world, and now, design shows are no exception.
Online and offline design
Along with gaining a fertile understanding of the kinds of pagination software you'll encounter as a student of fashion, the source noted that the ability to translate physical media into its online counterpart will become second nature. After a little training in Adobe Illustrator, for example, you'll have the necessary skills you'll need to retouch your own designs for download or retail. After all, as more consumers turn to the Web for their clothing needs, you'll want to know how to capture their attention with images that are crisp, stimulating and that have the same high quality as your competitions' sites.
The role of virtual design doesn't end with retail. The source noted that some companies, such as Fitting Reality and Von Bismark, are using the Web to host online, digital fitting rooms, allowing customers to use fashion designs to dress up an image of themselves. Burberry stores in China have also constructed interactive touchscreens that allow shoppers to customize virtual options before purchasing them, mixing outfits together from a collection of computerized designs. While this level of fashion technology is certainly advanced, students who are preparing for this kind of career would be well-served to begin considering the basics of Illustrator as a foundational skill set.
Don't forget blogging
The role of fashion in self-marketing pursuits is also becoming an imperative step if you're trying to make a name for yourself in the blogosphere. As this industry is largely subjective, writers, photographers, fashion students and burgeoning design aficionados need a place to promote their opinions, and to be soar above the rest, the visuals matter. According to Uloop, the blogs that have the most followers are typically laced with fresh, innovative styles, highly imaginative color palettes, stunning images and a creative flair that help their art - no matter the medium - reach new audiences.
It all starts with the basics of design. Anything can be published for the masses, but if you're aiming for higher quality fare, you should consider The American Graphics Institute's Adobe Illustrator classes.
About the author
Jennifer Smith is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices.
Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern Windows UX Design, having worked closely with the Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Blend for Visual Studio, and Balsamiq.