The Metaverse and Its Impact on Graphic Design
Graphic Design and the Metaverse
The idea of a parallel digital world is not exactly novel in the world of science fiction or cinema today – movies like “Ready Player One” are true masterpieces of the genre. However, since Facebook announced in October 2021 that it would change its name to Meta in order to become a benchmark for the Metaverse, the barrier between fiction and reality has blurred a little more and led to the word being on everyone’s lips. But have you ever stopped to wonder what role graphic design might play in this story? Let’s get down to exploring this.
What is the Metaverse?
As you can imagine, the first thing we have to do is define what the Metaverse is. It could be defined as an immersive digital universe where people can interact through avatars or digitalized versions of themselves – roughly speaking, this would be something like a chat room where you are managing a character.
One of the early steps towards the current idea of the metaverse is recognized as the Sensorama Machine, an immersive machine created by Morton Heilig that simulated a motorbike ride through the streets of Brooklyn.
The interesting thing about this invention was that it was really ahead of its time, combining 3D design with the use of smells, audio and a vibrating chair, all in 1956.
Since then and over almost 60 years, different prototypes and developments have allowed people to experience digital worlds. Perhaps the most popular and influential prototype in recent years was Oculus Rift, a virtual reality helmet with a 90° field of vision that also allows users to interact with the digital universe using their own hands, through commands specially designed for the product… And guess which business bought the company that created Oculus? It was Facebook/Meta – if you’re looking for visionaries, we’ve got one in Mark Zuckerberg.
Designing in the Metaverse
Although Meta – formerly Facebook – aims to position itself as the company of reference in the Metaverse, that doesn’t mean that they have dominion over it. The fact is that anyone can generate 3D designs to position themselves within the Metaverse and any company can generate their own space to navigate within the Metaverse.
Because this concept is so new, the possibilities for interaction are virtually infinite… (Couldn’t resist the pun, sorry!) From creating special spaces such as shops or businesses, to exhibitions where you can sell NFTs… you can even develop unique consumables – items to decorate or use with your avatar inside the Metaverse. Need a bit of inspiration? Here are a couple of mugs.
You don’t have to be a fashionista to know that clothes and accessories say a lot about us – that’s how we present ourselves to the world. In the case of the Metaverse, your avatar is the character you’ll use to interact with others, and it will be possible to customize it to your liking, which means there’ll be a huge market for brands to market their products digitally – and we’re not just talking about clothing, it will even influence the design of the characters themselves. This will all be work for graphic designers, 3D designers and programmers.
In order to make any establishment – whether restaurant, clothing store, cinema, etc. – attractive and eye-catching for its customers, you can be sure that interior designers will be involved. Within the Metaverse this will require multidisciplinary teams as, unlike in the real world, it is possible to break the rules of physics to attract attention in ways never seen before. This will also require the talents of the most creative and disruptive designers. Are you up for the challenge?
As mentioned above, the Metaverse is not governed by the same rules as our reality. Therefore, the possibilities of graphic design are not limited to banners, posters or animated videos. It will be a matter of playing around to find new spaces within a universe with rules yet to be defined.
What will everyday life be like tomorrow? What space will the Metaverse occupy in everyday life? The truth is that we don’t know, but there’s one thing that cannot be argued with: a new place for you to exhibit your skills has been born, and it’s just a matter of getting down to work. We’re ready to provide you with the best resources to help you do so.