Monday, October 31, 2005

The future of graphic design

The graphic design world, like many others, is evolving exponentially. In my opinion ... for the worse.

What many of us do and have done for years is no longer some exclusive and unreachable gymnastics.

I find myself more and more coming to the conclusion that the profession and associated industries is being constantly devalued and derided.

Why would a client pay a designer $1,500 for a brand when you can get a piece of software for under $50 that 'does the same thing'.

Why would they pay a artisan printer $400 for a finally crafted business card when they can get a thousand printed full colour both sides for $49.95? Or ... $29.95 if it's a Tuesday and an easterly is blowing.

Art is also facing a similar dilemma. You too, at least according to the lifestyle programmes on TV, can knock up a modern art masterpiece - McGyver-style - with some chewing gum, a rubber band and a few old tea towels!

People have lost any sense of admiration for ideas and creativity. An artist, a graphic designer, photographer or writer are seen as mere 'trades people' for the rendering of services. No value is placed on their creativity, years of experience or perspective.

Technology has advanced enough that it's no longer unusual for a 'mere mortal' to have access to the tools to create. That said, would you dare to build your own house, knock up some furniture or construct a car?

I have heard more than a few horror stories where individuals or clients as a cost cutting measure have 'taken on' the task of developing their own projects in their newly purchased 'industry standard' software. Mistakes, especially technical ones, can be very expensive --- sometimes upwards of $150-200/hour at a printer!

Just some more rambling!

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