Graphic Design Today And Where Is It Going?

As a graphic designer I always look back to when I started out and I remember that what I had was a passion for the craft. Then it was all about doing the job by hand, I trained under the old school of cut and paste, magic marker rendering and artwork done by hand. In those days it was much much harder to become a graphic designer as it was a real physical skill, you had to know how to draw and think about how the whole job was going to be done.

In today's' design world I find that the software has taken over and lessened the skill base somewhat. I also find that some graphic designers today can't even draw a line straight or do any traditional artwork. If we were to roll back the clock they would probably never have become graphic designers and the selection to get into art and design school was completely different.

As a result of this I am becoming quite worried as a lot of people are calling themselves graphic designers. Really they are just Mac or computer operators generally working for a print house, shop or something like that. Generally anyone with a computer could effectively call themselves a graphic designer. Of course I am bias as I come from an old school design education based on ideas and not what computer software can do for you.

To a certain extent a lot of the work is not ideas based, it seems to me that only the top agencies are out putting work that is based around ideas. I mean if you ask a young designer now to do a design based on a brief they immediately go to Google instead of doing what we did, researching a library of books. I love graphic design books and would very much love to create a large design library in my house. I miss this part of the design process, we are now relying on Google too much to find the same old stuff and re hashing it to appear as something else.

I enjoy the creative process of looking through design books old and new, foreign and domestic and finding ideas by thinking out of the box. This is one of my sayings "Think out of the box" it always leads to a better design. As the Creative Director of a design business I do enjoy finding business and getting into the the design process. I always always draw and sketch out my designs and concepts on paper and on a pad to run the process and ideas creation through my head before even thinking about going anywhere near an Apple Mac. Unfortunately a lot of the younger designers seem not to do this and hit the computer far too soon which I think stunts the creative process and limits you to the constraints of the software you are using.

Graphic design is a great profession and I love doing it I really do, however I think that a lot of the skills have been lost as technology takes over. It worries me that this profession might eventually disappear and become something else in terms of the skill set. Think of it in this way the printing industry has changed completely in the last 20 years, hot metal press and copy (type)setting has gone the way of the Dodo and I feel that soon enough of the average computer user will be able to do their own graphic design in very much the same way we all use a computer to write a letter or an email.

In some ways everyone is a graphic designer or will be one in the near future.
Website design is also going the same way with the advance of hosting companies creating their own web builders online with one click website creators and downloadable programs that can set up a website for you in minutes. I feel that the design process has now gone from the creative and been placed in the hands of non designers which in turn churns out the same old and similar designs and ideas.

Lets all go back to basics and buy a layout pad and a black marker and draw out ideas and get back control and let the creative process do its thing.

See below an example of just some of my sketches that I always do before I going anywhere near a Mac (computer).

So I am trying to go back to basics and see where this leads me.