Digital humanities is about many things: the infinite archive, programming, markup, style, knowledge production, collaboration, and graphic design. I believe that graphic design is a key element in understanding and doing digital humanities because design is a core part of our modern experience as citizens and as humanists. Understanding the elements of design, from color to typography, is an important skill for digital humanists to acquire. Of course doing so requires us to become familiar with the elements of design. One of the best ways to do so is to view good design.
One of the best graphic designers I know as well as a good friend is Hiller Higman. Hiller’s work is unique and original, but his work is also (so it seems to me) derived from the everyday world around us, both related and unrelated to design, as is our own work as humanist scholars. How we view the world around us and our humanist scholarship through design can teach us something about how digital tools are shaping the very act of doing humanist scholarship. Exactly how is a question I do not necessarily (yet) have an answer to, but I believe that it is true. I hope that during Hum 340 course, we can come to an answer or maybe better yet, develop a better question to ask about the relationship between humanist scholarship and design.