What does Interactive Media mean?

Our two-year creative program at Globe University/Minnesota School of Business is called Interactive Media and Graphic Design. OK, so everyone gets “graphic design” but what exactly is “interactive media”? According to a white paper found at http://www.atsf.co.uk/atsf/interactive_media.pdf interactive media is “the integration of digital media including combinations of electronic text, graphics, moving images, and sound, into a structured digital computerised environment that allows people to interact with the data for appropriate purposes. The digital environment can include the Internet, telecoms and interactive digital television.”

WHOA! That’s a mouthful! OK, so let’s simplify it. If you go onto a website, smartphone or tablet device, or even a DV movie, you make selections. Click on this to find out this information. Click on that to go to that page or chapter. Anytime you select and click, you are choosing where you want to go next and what you want to see next. That is being interactive with the content.  Media just means any information or content and how it is presented.

How does that tie in with graphic design? The term graphic design traditionally means printed material such as textbooks, magazines, newspapers, billboards, packages or even bulk and political mail. Anything that is printed to inform the public has been (or should have been) designed by a graphic artist. The artist takes into account the typography, color, and layout of the image. Webpages, smartphone apps, and the interface of digital video movies also must be designed, so the same principles come into play. Web designers are essentially graphic designers who design specifically for digital media. (There he goes again, fancy terms!) But who cares? The line between digital and graphic artists is getting thinner and most graphic artists double up as web designers as well. THAT is why our program is called Interactive Media and Graphic Design. We teach students with an interest in art how to make a living creating beautiful and functional websites and knock-your-socks-off print material. Check us out at www.globeuniversity.edu. Sure, we are part of a business school but we are the “cool kids” who get to play with Photoshop.

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