Saturday, September 30, 2006

What is Happening to the Design Profession?

I know this is beating a dead horse. But this issue still bothers me. From design schools, trade schools, and associate degree programs to the droves of untrained second-career folks entering the design field, the attitude that design is a matter of manipulating software is prevalent.

I recently purchased a book from about illustrations that were done using Photoshop. Not a big deal. But then I get a list of suggested books I might like, and I get a list of Photoshop how-to books. Also, not a big deal. But it got me thinking. Why not a list of books about illustration? Why Photoshop? Because, that is what the majority of people want. They want to know how to create cool effects and logos using Photoshop.

Then I saw a TV advertisement for design training. And what do they advertise? "Create cool stuff using software programs. Isn't that a cool career?"

If anyone is tired of this besides me? Maybe no one really is, because few even know what they are missing.


  1. Anonymous1:47 PM

    I know what you mean... so many people think: if I just learn the software I can have the career I want. I am co-teaching a class at University, and one of the things we're trying to stress to the students is learning the concepts of art, design and of digital media... Once they do that, they can pick up and understand almost any software they want... Schools tend to want to push software because it's more teachable... But out in the industry, many people say: "We can teach a new employee the software... we can't teach them to be an artist." Software is easier to teach... being able to design and create is the more marketable skill...

  2. If the computer doesn't do all the work, why do I spend so much money on hardware and software? Oh, that's right, because I like quality tools.

  3. I have technical knowledge in 3DS, I can use materials, particle systems, MaxScript etc. But I'm not an artist and everything I model looks dead.

    What I do? Well I'm coding some pretty cool tools that our designers can use. I'm export models and use them in other programs. etc.

    Hardware alone sux.

  4. Panayot,

    Keep up the good work. And I couldn't agree more.

  5. i had an experience where someone was observing what i was creating in InDesign, and exclaimed..."wow, i need to learn to do do you become a graphics person...?" well, for one, i am a graphic designer, and two, i went to college, learned typography, color theory, branding, the software, practice, practice...



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