Your Opinion of the 'Design Industry'


New Member

I've just recently joined this forum so I'm just 'getting to grips' with it all, just incase these questions have already been asked I apologise in advance!

I hope you can find the time to answer my questions below as it would be good to get a few answers from people who work within the industry rather than just fellow students... so here goes!

I am currently in my final year of my BA(Hons) in Graphic Design at Sunderland University and as part of our course we have the daunting task of writing a dissertation about a subject we feel strongly about. My dissertation question looks at the term "graphic design" to see if it is a relevant and/or sufficient title to describe what the profession has become?

For my research I have looked as far back as the turn of the century and how graphic design has changed rapidly from the 80's and 90's. I hope you can drop me a few lines and give me your opinions of:

• How do you feel the industry has changed since you first started out, have all the changes been for the better or have we lost something along the way with regards having everything done at the touch of a button?

• Also, what's your views on where you think the industry is heading and what is your personal definition of "graphic design"?

Your comments would be greatly appreciated!

Rach :icon_biggrin:
As someone who has only been in the industry, for just over 2 years as a printer (having studied IT at uni, weirdo aren't I?), it's apparent that the biggest factor for change, is technology.

In a printing context, people no longer have to wait hours for a file to rip, so in that sense, it's easier. The printers themselves are generally better than the ones a few years back too. But I feel that things like retouching (just an example), are made a lot easier with the Adobe suite. And as a result, some of the skill and theory is taken away from the technique, which is a shame.

I for one can work with various machines, but if you stuck me in the same industry a few years back, I'd not have a clue. Unfortunately, the machines are taking over, and humans are becoming lazier (no terminator jokes!:icon_tongue_smilie:).

I've also come to realise, that actual graphics are usually replicated more frequently, and usually the source in which you find graphical elements on a document, aren't necessarily their original home.
Now I know there are time constraints, but I know there are some people who purely have no imagination, or rather, just plain have no interest in what they're doing.
But they have the ability to drag and drop, which for me, is what drains originality out of the industry, and I'm sure it hasn't always been like this. This is taking into account that they're working under a brief.

Additionally, despite the above, people are now being asked to have a web based background or programming knowledge, which to some, is completely foreign. This is a bit of an eye opener, as it's really stretching the boundaries of what you'd define as a graphic designer, and couldn't think of something more tedious and linear, to me it isn't what graphics should be about, but it is unfortunately.

Going back to print, there seems to be a trend at the moment for eco friendly materials too. So materials are evolving along with the technology. Although some reps will try to fool you into thinking you're buying something you're not. So salesman haven't changed!:icon_biggrin:

I would elaborate further, but I'm still a relatively new face to the graphics world!
Hi Rach

I've been a designer for over 10 years and in my experience the profession has been devalued to a large degree. This is partly due to technology but mostly due to the internet.

It is now possible to get a logo designed for $10, I'm not joking it is possible. To people who don't know better and don't understand design and its importance they will take the logo for $10 and say thank you very much.

Its odd, design is more important than ever, good design can achieve so much, it can ensure business's don't just have to compete on price, it can make mundane products and services desirable and some many other things.

Apple charge double, sometimes triple the cost of an average pc laptop, yes (in my opinion) they are better machines but they are mostly able to charge so much more, due to design and branding. They have thought about the product and 'designed' it to make it desirable and functional.

Design enables companies to charge much more than a product is actually worth, design solves problems and communicates more in a second than a 400 word description can, design taps into emotions and triggers responses. There are many many more examples of how design adds value.

I think design is worth far more than $10!
Can I just say that reading your reply DotDesign has been really refreshing. Lately I have been working for a client of mine who just doesn't seem to understand design. I say this because when I see the final decision he makes (the one from a signage guy round the corner, where elements look like they have just been haphazardly chucked together) I can't understand why I bother put the time and effort in! I enjoy taking the time to put real thought into a project, I just hope theres still space in the industry for someone like me.
There is space Shazi, don't worry we just need to try and educate.
Alot of people/clients do recognise good design.

Glad it helped, I'd be interested to hear others opinions also...
I think people recognise good design, but don't know why. They know an Audi looks nicer than a Kia instinctively. Our job is to help them understand how to apply those aesthetics and function to their own jobs, so they too can have something that .just feels right'.

The problem I find is that people say "I like Innocent's branding" or whatever, but when you deliver something well thought out and designed, they get into the ridiculous details of how big the logo is etc rather than seeing the big picture. The classic one is "Too much white space". Even though they've asked for something classy and well designed. Even though you could show them a beautiful brochure full of white space and they'd like it. Because they're close to it, they'll bugger it up. If you let them.