I bet you know how to use a pair of scissors, am I right? Well, now tell me you cut your own hair.
I use this analogy when people tell me how fantastic such tools as Canva & Spark are for creating graphics and artwork.
It’s a delusion to think these tools will make someone a graphic designer, no more than a hammer and a saw will make someone a carpenter.
DIY Graphic Designers
Now don’t get me wrong, the introduction of free apps to be able to put text and images on to virtual paper has created an explosion of visual imagery that has flooded our predominately digital world. People with zero budget and a creatively fueled imagination have found their visual voice and much of the output may be commended. However, as with any trade, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing which is evident with the vast array of DIY design disasters.
Is it the end for Graphic Designers?
A common complaint from age-old Graphic Designers is that these free tools have dried up their order books since the cost of converting thoughts into published designs has shrunk to zero. So is the future of graphic design now in the hands of zero budget imaginations?
Where is the Value?
The value of graphic design does not sit with the tools and apps used to convert imagination into published designs that are shared with the world. The value sits with the creative spark of an idea, the mindset and thought processes of a designer’s consciousness. There’s value in the experience and knowledge of graphic designers.
It upsets me to see badly designed artwork; the waste of time and money. My pet hate is roll-up banners, where I see so many people making the same design mistakes over and over again. People celebrate their new, really cheap, roll up banner which is a design disaster, however, their little knowledge of design keeps their perception of fabulous thoroughly satisfied.
So when we shift our mindset from cost to value will we still see a future for graphic designers?
On the one hand, when someone posts a graphic on Twitter, it’s a fleeting visual with the half-life of not very long. It’ll do. It seldom justifies a big budget production. If it’s a DIY disaster it won’t last for long. On the other hand when a budding author needs a hard backed book cover designed with the correct margins, spine, bleed, colour space and on message, creative, buy-me design, which is a visual image surely to be judged in order to determine the book’s content, then ask yourself what value a graphic designer may bring to the table.
The Value is where it’s happening
As more and more people become satisfied with zero budget design production then the future of graphic designers lays in creating and seeking out value opportunities in the creative design world.
Money alone can’t buy you creative design knowledge or experience, it is time that needs to be added into the equation. Where you find people wishing to spend their valuable time considering the value of design is where you’ll find the future graphic designers.
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