Over the last 5 to 10 years technology has brought us to a stage where we are rapidly disconnecting with previously established ‘died in the wool’ ways of doing things and entering a realm where new ideas, ideals and formats proliferate and nothing replaces anything. You simply get more. Everything is fracturing all over the place — in politics, entertainment, the media… even in the creative industries. Particularly in Graphic Design.
On the plus side this has freed up designers to expand upon their individual areas of interest.
Graphic Design might seem like a relatively young industry compared to say, banking or carpentry or whatever but it’s also become heavily reliant on technology and technology changes so rapidly these days that were all constantly having to play catch up. Sure, there’s a massive dollop of craft involved but it was only a decade and a half ago that us designers were first discovering the Apple Mac and what it was capable of and now you look around and it seems frightfully easy for anyone to pick up a computer and start designing things for themselves. In many aspects, talent has become subservient to technology.
Graphic Design will need to become a part of the thing and not the thing itself..
Designers and design studios now wear many hats from account handlers to debt collectors and more. Add to this curators, event organisers, illustrators, photographers, archivists, art directors, media commentators… The list now seems to go on and on and on. Look at creative agencies such as us us at HB1 Web or any young creative. We may be able to produce Graphic Design of an appropriately high calibre but that’s only really one segment of our kit of parts.In a world growing steadily more interested in marketing, branding, crowdsourcing, ‘design thinking’, cheap typography and D.I.Y. solutions, many creatives are finding/will find themselves morphing to new, multi-faceted roles. The role of Graphic Design may loose some prominence. Graphic Design may become more of a ‘boutique service’ offered to select clients rather than the all encompassing visual glue it has been touted as for decades. One thing is for sure, it ain’t disappearing anytime soon though we might have to start questioning exactly what our relationship to Graphic Design is really about.
Well that’s my attempt at looking into the crystal ball.
The definition of the graphic designer is becoming blurred. The accessibility of technology now means that anyone with a computer and the correct software can become a designer. This has both negative and positive effects: On one hand, poorly-considered, non-disciplined design is now being allowed to flow through into the public consciousness. On the other hand, we are seeing new, forward thinking, unrestricted creative thinking from those who are not restrained by traditional formalities.
It is my belief that craft allows technology to be exploited effectively. Therefore, the continuation of taught craft in our academic institutions is essential to sustaining graphic design as a profession to technically exacting standards. As a trained graphic designer and typographer this is something which I am very passionate about.