Building our Digital World
Delivering software and systems in support of our digital economy

Engaged in our Digital World

Along the way to publishing this series of books, I discovered two important things. One, it takes a good team to develop a quality product. Second, even seemingly trivial tasks, like designing the book covers, can turn into large projects in their own right. Such was the case with designing the Building our Digital World series book covers, and the associated artwork titled “ENGAGED IN OUR DIGITAL WORLD.

The design concept began with the notion that we are all connected to a digital world; a world that is built by the efforts of software and IT-based systems developers. My book designer, Adam Hay, of Adam Hay Studio, and I saw several artificial intelligence (AI) based artworks that suggested such connections. While I liked the imagery of some of the AI-based artworks, they typically included pictures of androids or robots. I wanted to make the point that it’s humans who are increasingly connected to our digital world. Besides the digital connections, I also wanted to convey the role software programming plays in forming such digital connections.

We could not find an existing commercial illustration and graphic that evoked the image I was seeking. So, I turned to the folks at Unzipped Designs, Victoria Moore and James Neely, to see if they could come up with a custom design for us. Victoria and James both work as artists in 3d modeling formats. James is a 3D creature and character artist who holds two patents for digital sculpting in product designs and the use of 3D models for pre-visualization of  product packaging concepts for marketing purposes. Victoria is a software programmer who also develops 3d avatars for gamers. A perfect fit!

The final artwork displays a couple walking together with a digital rain immersing them in the virtualized digital world. The two individuals are avatars, who represent real-world humans in their digital interactions within this ‘other’ world. The programming code, lying upon the water- soaked ground, provides the foundation for their digital interactions.

Are the human-directed avatars and their digital world real, or imagined? I submit it’s increasingly difficult to tell. After all, who as a gamer doesn’t believe that the avatars they use, and those that surround them in their digital worlds, at least for the time of their play, represent reality and a real place where they reside and interact with others?

I hope you enjoy the artwork as much as we enjoyed collaborating on the design.