The discipline of graphic design has come a long way, baby. If you have been a reader of my blogs, you probably know a bit about my history. I entered the graphic design scene when the advent of digital design was in its infancy, and Photoshop cost you about a month’s wages.
Thankfully, the days of paste-ups, cropping tools, and wax pencils have gone the way of the dinosaur. And while graphic design has evolved greatly since then, and even prior, some of the misconceptions and myths that existed are still believed by many people today. In this blog, I will list three of the biggest offenders.
- 1. Graphic designers only design for print.
While its roots are in print, the discipline of graphic design has broadened significantly to include digital media, such as designing website elements like ads and banners, email newsletters, and social media content.
- 2. You cannot learn to become a graphic designer.
I remember a conversation with a friend who considered herself a “non-creative.” She, like many people, knew I was a designer, and often lamented what she believed was a lack of creative ability. While many graphic designers seem to be imbued with a creative streak, it does not suggest that the art is somehow limited to certain people. Graphic design can be learned. It is as much a science as it is an art, and there are endless resources available to anyone who desires to learn.
- 3. Graphic design is all about making something look good.
While there is a kernel of truth to this statement, graphic designers understand that “good” is a subjective term; what “looks good” to one person, may look like rubbish to another. This is why graphic design, at its heart, is a discipline—designers must put aside their personal preferences at times to produce a piece that drives their audience to action. This requires an understanding of the target audience and the ability to apply a combination of techniques and methods to attain the desired effect.
As technology changes, the field of graphic design continues to expand and push boundaries. What once began in the 1920s as a catchall term to describe art in print medium has grown far beyond its original intent. Who knows where graphic design will be in 10 years?
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