Technology is constantly developing, and the fashion industry is developing alongside it, utilising new technology to make the production of fashion simpler, more accessible, more varied, and sometimes just to give it a different edge. Through researching, I’ve found many examples of how Computer Aided Design and Manufacture is used in the fashion industry, so here are just a few:
Illustration is one example of how digital media is used in the fashion industry. Traditionally, design ideas were presented using pencils, inks, watercolours, and other physical media, however, digital media is now being used increasingly to bring designer’s and illustrator’s ideas to life. To produce these illustrations, software such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop can be used for digital painting, and it is also possible to combine digital and traditional media, by scanning in a sketch, and importing it to an illustration programme to add to it digitally.
In this image (left), digital painting was solely used to produce a modern fashion illustration. Digital painting is a method of creating art using computer software, which can digitally replicate traditional media such as inks, acrylic paint, pencil lines, pens, and much more. To create these illustrations, a virtual canvas is used alongside a virtual paint pallet, brush set and other supplies, which can then be shared online, or printed to create a physical copy.
It is also possible to combine traditional and digital media to create fashion illustrations. This image (right) was produced by illustrator Maisie Noble, initially using traditional media. However, it was then scanned and converted into a digital image on the computer. Scanners reflect light off an image, and the information is then collected by the machine and transferred to the computer. After this image was transferred to the computer, digital painting was also used to enhance the image.
Magazines have been using digital media to create and edit their pages for a long time, and as technology progresses, magazines tend to adapt and change along with the technology that is used to create them. On this magazine cover, many digital techniques are used, for example, photography. Digital photography has become part of everyday life for almost everyone, with portable digital cameras and smartphones widely available; however, creating these high quality images is still a vitally important role within magazines.
A digital camera uses a grid of photosensors to record an incoming pattern of light, and each sensor returns an electric current when the light hits it. The camera then records this current as a pattern, which saves the image as a digital file. The image can then be transferred to a computer using a memory card.
Another digital technique used in magazines is photoshop, which is the cause of many ongoing debates. Photoshop can be used for many things, such as airbrushing images, changing body proportion, layering text and photos, creating shadows and highlights and much more, however the airbrushing and body proportion aspects often come under a lot of scrutiny for creating “impossible standards” for young girls and women, as is shown in this image (right).