Gary Maurice speaks on New Media and Graphic Design
By Beaven Dhliwayo
Harare – “Traditional media for centuries has always been print oriented, pencil and paper and in recent past, less than 150 years there has been an explosion of digital media in the form of video, film, motion graphics, 3D, web, interactive applications, virtual reality and many more technologies which considering the age of writing is a fairly new form of media.”
This was said by an Instructor at the Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (ZIVA) Gary Maurice who believes New Media has taken the world by storm.
Maurice joined ZIVA in 2003 as a student and graduated top of his class in a 2 year diploma in Graphic Design and New Media.
Currently he is instructing two classes’ namely Digital studio – basic design programs (Photoshop, illustrator and InDesign) and also New Media – Web design and Development and Interactive design.
ZIVA was founded in 1999 by the legendary Saki Mafundikwa a holder of an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University, USA with a drive to provide design education in Zimbabwe.
Mafundikwa worked in New York City as a graphic designer, art director and design instructor.
Known for his book, Afrikan Alphabets: the Story of Writing in Africa published in 2004 and is the first book on Afrikan typography.
His first film, Shungu: The Resilience of a People a feature-length documentary has won the prestigious Ousmane Sembene Award at Zanzibar International Film Festival and Best Documentary at Kenya International Film Festival both in 2010 and has screened at some of the top film festivals in the world.
In an interview with this reporter, Gary Maurice said New Media has taken the world by storm though each form of media has its advantages and drawbacks.
New Media most commonly refers to content available on-demand through the Internet, accessible on any digital device, usually containing interactive user feedback and creative participation. Common examples of new media include websites such as online newspapers, blogs, wikis, video games and social media.
“New media takes advantage of using more of our senses. For example, a session of a news bulletin can give both visual and auditory information, as opposed to the same story written in the newspaper.
“So New Media increases quantity and even the quality of information transmitted hence it is a very important step of modern age.
“I would not be quick to say that ‘paper is disappearing completely’ but would say one form of media is playing a greater role than another,” he said.
Maurice added that New Media also has a faster distribution network, and in some cases, instant transmission of information and the cost of production is arguably less.
“One news website can reach millions of people in a very short space of time at a very low cost as compared to printed copies.”
He also noted that graphic design has not yet fully been appreciated in Zimbabwe by the general populations or by people who drive companies.
“There are some though who do understand the value of the visual communication and are willing to pay proper value for a good service.
“Like any other industry, for people to appreciate they must first be educated on its value and as creative people we have a task to educate people on the nature and value of design.
“One challenge is that people do not see a correlation between good and bad design and its impact to society. It’s easy for one to see the value of a comprehensive insurance when their vehicle is involved in an accident, but for design the public education process is different.”
Maurice also encouraged creatives who are studying to be open minded about the environment this country is in and should be careful not to be stifled by the negativity.