As technology becomes increasingly more sophisticated, means and demand for digital communication are increasing. The geographical expansion of the business world has made communication alternatives critical to working together more effectively. Face to face meetings may not be possible or the most cost and time efficient approach. Also, there is a move towards working at home, telecommuting, by using electronic communication for interaction (Fitzgerald 1993). Thus, electronic correspondence is becoming essential and we are witnessing a move towards higher performance and potential for communication alternatives. Knowing the options and their appropriateness is a competitive advantage. "In a information society dominated by computers and communications, value is increased by knowledge, as well as by the speed of movement of that knowledge." (Fitzgerald 1994). Graphic designers rely on strong communication with their clients. Clients' needs must be expressed to the designer and designer's solutions must be communicated for approval. This process is repeated at several stages: initial, revision, and final. Traditionally, when face to face meetings were not feasible, comprehensives were mailed to the client. With the current move towards electronic communication, mail manual transportation are slower and possibly more expensive than electronic correspondence. With technology today, electronic correspondence may also include interactivity, voice, and video. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate alternative methods to face to face interaction between designer and client throughout the design approval process. The goal being to determine the appropriateness of each transmission application for information interchange of different kind of images and at different stages of the approval process. Appropriateness was to be determined by equipment, economic and time factors, interoperability, security, and aesthetic and communication quality. Facsimile technology, Adobe Acrobat's portable document formal files, the Internet, and videoconferencing were the vehicles analyzed as an electronic correspondence alternatives to face to face interaction. The vehicles were tested in two parts, through survey and actual transactions with graphic designers. Participants were provided questionnaires to evaluate and compare the visual and non visual aspects of each vehicle. This thesis did not test specific software or hardware, but rather the validity of the technique for interaction and transmission of data between designer and client throughout the design approval process. The test was in two parts. The first part was a survey sampling of 1 00 design sites, design firms and advertising agencies, to derive quantitative information on each transmission vehicle Based on the assessment of the appropriateness of each vehicle, determined by survey response in conjunction with background research, Facsimile technology, Adobe Acrobat, and videoconferencing were deemed appropriate for further testing. The Internet was deemed inappropriate. Three design sites were involved in comparing facsimile technology and PDF files to dye sublimation hardcopy prints. A video-conference was donated, conducted, and videotaped. Participants were asked to evaluate and compare visual and non-visual aspects of the transmitted comprehensives. The conclusion of this thesis project is that the technology is here to use for electronic alternatives to face to face interaction between clients. Some adjustments have to be made, though, before these technologies can be embraced completely. Electronic alternatives are not qualified for final approval because of lack of precision in color, lack of demonstrating production or finishing operations, and the quality of typography on monitors are extremely low causing the aesthetic quality to be extremely diminished. Second, the designers selected hardcopy as the best option for communicating the tested designs. This indicates the community is not ready to embrace electronic alternatives. This may be due to a lacking of advantage of the electronic option to deem them necessary and/or lack of comfortability with the electronic alternatives. Either reason, electronic alternatives to face to face interaction between client and designer is not, currenly, being fully accepted. As for the vehicles themselves, Adobe Acrobat was found to be a very appropriate product to use between designer and client to communicate design comprehensives for initial and revision stages. Facsimile transmissions are appropriate for initial comprehensives or for revisions of comprehensives already seen at higher quality by the client. The Internet is presently not appropriate for private one-to-one file transfer between client and designer. Its strengths do not outweigh its risks. Videoconferencing is electronic correspondence, not file transfer. It can be used in combination with mail carrier service and file transfer or alone. If the client has been sent appropriate final proofs and the conference is used for verbal and visual communication, it is appropriate for all stages. If the final proof has not been sent, it is very appropriate for initial and revision stages. In comparison to mail carriers, all electronic options transmission times were significantly faster. All transmissions were under a hour. Additionally, all alternatives except videoconferencing, were less expensive.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Graphic arts--Marketing; Digital communications
- Please Select One -
Friedman, Tanya, "An Investigation of alternative communication methods to face to face interaction between design and client" (1995). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus