Has Graphic Design Gone Backwards?
For a website to be successful, it relies on graphics. However, the very idea that graphic design has gone backwards somewhat is going to be rather disturbing for those individuals that are aware of the important role that it plays.
But then, is it even possible for ‘art’ to have gone backwards? Surely as long as the client is happy with what they see before them then everything else is also going to be absolutely fine?
Well, it certainly does not work that way every single time.
The problem is that graphic designers will often wish to experiment with their ideas and concepts. Now, that is the thing that pushes the industry along, but surely there has to be a line where the client and the Internet in general decides that enough is indeed enough?
Too often, the client that is having the website constructed will give the graphic designer too much space and power in deciding on what they produce. This is wrong because it can then get to a point whereby the client feels that so much work has been done that they effectively just ‘go along with it’ as they want their website to be live.
Once again, this is wrong.
You see, Internet trends tend to then force graphic design down a particular path. Social media plays a role as designers look at the kind of things that seem to catch the eye of individuals and then seek to apply those trends and concepts to their own ideas. Of course, this doesn’t always work as there is such a thing as thinking too far out of the box.
So why do we ask the question as to whether or not graphic design has gone backwards? Too often there is little interaction between client and designer whereas in the past this would have rarely been the case. There can, at times, be a feeling that they also need to throw designs out as quickly as possible as competition is so tough that the client could easily go elsewhere at any point.
Previously, there was an acceptance that quality designs took time to create. There was an entire process to be worked through from coming to terms with what the client was looking for, to coming up with the initial ideas, to finding out what the client thought of those ideas, to the final product.
In all seriousness, this would take weeks to work though on some occasions, but that length of time can often feel like professional suicide with the speed at which the web design and graphic design industry appears to be moving.
In other words, it is the pressure of competition and the desire to produce something that stands out mixed in with a willingness to push boundaries that has led to graphic design heading in reverse. It’s not to say that the designer no longer has pride in their work. That would be a crazy thing to try to argue.
However, there is perhaps a reluctance to invest as much time and energy into a design due to the pressure being applied almost from the outset. When you also add in that prices can often be driven downwards due to that increased competition, then when you are doing the same work as you did a decade ago and feel you are being paid the same; well are you going to invest as much time and effort?
The question now is what this means to the client and how to rectify the situation. Clearly, the role of the client is to give the designer the time and space to come up with something exceptional. You must communicate with the designer to let them know that you are open for ideas and interpretations, but that you are looking for specific ideas to be included. Obviously, you need to do your own research first and know what you want or else you are making life exceptionally difficult for yourself.
Perhaps then it is not the skill of the graphic designers that has gone backwards, but just a result of turmoil and pressure being applied from different angles. The need to squeeze prices down as low as possible coupled with clients sometimes having ideas that just cannot work without it looking crazy, due to them seeing something elsewhere, does not exactly help.
If space and time is provided, then there is no reason to doubt that something brilliant can be produced. It’s just a case of allowing that to happen.