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Everybody is a designer these days but the designer… discuss | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Everybody is a designer these days but the designer… discuss

everybody is a designer these days but the designer

Everybody is a designer these days but the designer – is this more true than at any time in the past? Is this even a bad thing, is this so because of the nature of technology and the merging of different disciplines? What is a designer these days btw? Kind of curious to hear people’s thoughts. There’s an interesting article in the latest Adaptive Path newsletter that I’ll link to once the site has uploaded it titled No Designer is an Island. Interesting fodder…

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  • http://www.flickr.com/smodje Debbie

    It's a very interesting point, I think with the wide availability of photoshop and free alternative software that definitely more and more people have the option to try their hand at design. Years ago it was just the professionals but now we have a mix of creative professionals and hobbyists.

  • http://www.kinosport.tv James

    I remember looking for an apartment in New York a few years ago and the broker asked what I did for a living. “I'm a graphic designer,” I said. He lit up – “Oh really? Me, too. You know, I sometimes put .jpgs on the internet at night.”

    Which is basically what I do, too. I can't think of any other profession where the line between “amateur” and “professional” is so blurry (or if you prefer, where the means of access have become so democratic). Nor can I think of any other profession that spends so much time worrying about this line.

  • http://www.keoshi.com/ keoshi

    i couldn't agree more. everyone thinks that having the tools and know how to work with them instantly makes them a designer.
    not everyone can think, work and solve problems as a real designer. putting the form and function on one piece, communicate the message, make your point to an audience.

    but i guess that also happens with, for example, photography – where everyone owns a camera but not necessarily the “eye” for it.

    at least that's my take on that sentence 🙂

  • Marko Srdoc

    this new revolution affected the photographers even more…

  • http://www.suissa.ca howard

    Interesting. But, saying everyone is a desinger is like saying everyone is an artist. Everyone can draw, but not everyone is an artist. I think it is the same with design. Just because you can use Photoshop or Illustrator or some 3D design your kitchen program for idiots doesn't mean that you have the foundation to design well. The term design gets thrown around so much that it is seriously been diluted in its meaning. As an industrial designer, I spent years getting a BA then post grad, the same amount of time and Architect or Engineer spends with no less depth to my studies, yet you don't hear people throwing around those titles jsut because they cropped a photo in Flicker. Granted this point goes more to Graphic designers, but the same holds true for their education.

  • http://designnotes.info/ michaelsurtees

    true that just b/c you can draw doesn't mean your an artist – but everyone has an opinion about design. some more founded in logic though that doesn't nec. stop people from passing on their judgment…

  • http://loquat73.blogspot.com/ Paulo

    Everyone always has an opinion about design sometimes its frustrating. But I try not to get frustrated with them.

    Here are some comments I get at work:

    – I don't like that font could we use Comic Sans (usually its not the font they want to use but it's the font name they remember).

    – That color doesn't look “friendly” enough.

    – I'm not sure about that photo can you make it look better, you know make those people in the background smile and change the sky.

    In the end you are the designer you are getting paid to create a look. Everyone has their opinions, tastes, and thoughts – what I try to do now is show them exactly (sometimes I make it look a bit worse to prove a point) what they want and tell them why it doesn't work. Thats all I can do in the end if they still like it their way, I just do it. There is no point in getting angry with them. If they don't get it they'll never get it.

    -P

  • http://faramarzhashemi.com faramarz

    Same can be said for carpentry, photography etc etc.

    When the barrier to entry is so inexpensive and easy, anybody with a computer, or a mere interest decides to take on the professional for cheaper rate.

    I don't really have a view on this, except to say, those who are great designers and work passionately, and produce great work have nothing to worry about. the saturation only helps them stand out more in a sea of mediocrity. don't be mediocre in anything that you do, /end

  • http://designnotes.info/ michaelsurtees

    i used to agree to your sentiment, but I don't think the way people value how great a designer is the same way now. We're in a different time period that most designers are in denial of. It's scary stuff – look at print. Everyone says the like the tactility of it, but if you can't email it or pass it on to others, that message dies quickly. It may be the best piece of printed communication but ultimately fails because no one knows about it. Something might look awful but if it's distributed in a better format it is more successful – that has nothing to do with how passionate the designer is…

  • http://www.ardephwerk.fr Rachael Hampton

    Interesting topic, I can agree with some of the comments below. Between the lines of “amateur” and “professional” . Also I think is like a trend to call one self a designer, it not so easy to call one self a doctor. But As well I seen on the professional side Designers with B.A and I wonder how were they able to pass and get their degree ….