The Value of Good Design in the Age of Technology
In the modern world we are bombarded with information on anything and everything 24/7. The biggest problem is choosing what is worth paying attention to and what is just more clutter for your brain. Every industry has been affected with this problem since the dawn of the internet and the explosion of content everywhere on it and graphic design is no different.
The will for anything and everything to be produced faster and faster and to still adhere to a high standard is now ever present, putting pressure on companies to adapt and change at a rate that is frightening for many business owners. This trend is unlikely to change in the near future if at all. But what does this actually mean on the ground for the graphic design industry?
Well on closer examination this drive for faster more streamlined mass production, while it may be quite feasible and make sense in some areas has its’ drawbacks in other more specialised services such as the arts and indeed in graphic design. There are now many websites that offer ‘free’ graphic design services where the end user can attempt to design their own marketing materials such as a brochure or a logo, eliminating the need for a designer. The temptation to use services such as these are strong, as many people seem to have an inner graphic designer within them dying to be let loose. The problem is - as in many specialised fields - there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. And the results although they may end up being okay, would most likely have ended up being much better had they been done by a professional.
There are certain tasks thankfully still best performed by a skilled professional. Graphic design I believe is still one of them. Whereas some tasks you can set up to automate - like taking widgets off a conveyor belt for example - other are best served by a trained professional. There are nuances like taste, standing out from the crowd, originality and quirkiness that won’t be surpassed by artificial intelligence anytime soon. Thankfully for now humans are still better than machines at certain tasks.
Looking at the whole online world of free design templates, cheap online logo design, clip art and so on, there has been a massive reduction in quality within the industry in recent years and sadly now customer expectations are lower than what they used to be. Generic design, tackiness and plain old stealing of other peoples ideas are now the norm. It must be noted also that many graphic designers seem to have been tempted to succumb to, or lower their own standards too, mostly just to survive, but possibly to cash in on lower expectations. The wealth of free or cheap overused templates at their disposal online is alarming and many clients will not be aware of just how unoriginal or generic the end results can sometimes be.
Ironically if people are willing to invest in hiring a good graphic design professional, who has a real love for good graphic design as well as a high sense of integrity, it is still possible to stand out from the crowd, avoid trends and create original and engaging marketing for their company.