According to a white paper from Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe, interactive media refers to “the integration of digital media including combinations of electronic text, graphics, moving images, and sound, into a structured digital computerized environment that allows people to interact with the data for appropriate purposes. The digital environment can include the Internet, telecoms and interactive digital television.”
In other words, if you go onto a website, smartphone or tablet device or a movie, you make selections, including links to other pages. 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.
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.