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Jun 19, 2006



I think that the reason blogosphere is so silent and shy is that very few of us are designers - personally, I can barely draw, never mind comment on graphic design.

Despite this, i'll stick my oar in; I can at least analyse what i've read:

I really, really like the 'passion not perfection' point. I think that point should be the cornerstone of every creative industry.

I agree with the 'usability' and 'collaborate' points, but I have an observation - both go hand in hand, in my view - like blogging culture almost. Might that be a good parallel; the digital age as a good teacher of this?

I agree with the 'management consultant' 'start up' and 'exploit the gap' points. Couldn't have put it better.



Is the talk about selecting the future professionals of the design industry (as per your notes) or about how the language and applicaton of graphic design itself will change in the future in order to engage it's increasingly sophisticated, media savvy audience over the coming decades?


Alright. I am a designer, although only a year and a bit out of school. So I have heard my fair share of insight into the industry lately and been to a few D&AD lectures. And, although what you are saying is very true and valid, it doesn't sound like anything I don't know already or shouldn't know.

Good advice. But I don't think it addresses the future all that much. Most of the things you listed are things that we're aware of now. You mentioned going solo - but is that the only way? What about in-house and other collaborations? I thought what you said about "design is the new management consultancy" was interesting and wouldn't mind hearing a bit more about that.

Good luck. It's all about how you present anyhow...isn't it?


Hi Guys,

I'll write more later (there's a football match on...) but thanks so much for commenting.


PS I still need more comments...


I'm not sure there is a future in graphic design and I say this with nearly 20 years of experience.

Hiring managers only want to hire what they have seen before, though they proclaim they want 'something out of the box'. Clients market test to find merely middle ground taste yielding mediocrity.

Agencies and corporations 'want it all' and hire software monkeys not designers thereby producing over stimulated visuals for the gaming nerds to theoretically solve business issues.

Curse the PC mindset! Although I love my Mac...

Graham Salmon

#8.Be able to understand the psychology of the end user – ie what is going to attract him/her into interacting with the graphic. For example, if we make the big assumption that the mobile phone is going to be the be all and end all to everybody on the planet – phone,web,music,video,TV,etc,etc - the best design work is going to have to fit into that medium, irrespective of where else it features. It becomes a very personal experience for the end user.And it may have to be multi layered- music et al, so collaboration is pivotal to real success – as you’ve already said.
BTW I like the concept of ‘design being the new management consultancy’ (and that’s an accountant speaking..)


Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate it.

Will, kind words, thanks for that. Passion not perfection is a personal bugbear of mine. Glad you like it. The digital age has changed graphic design for ever, I hope tutors already know this.

Andrew, it's about what graphic design will be like when the current crop of graduates start working in it. I guess that kinda covers the next decade.

Meg, I worried someone might say that. I know it all sounds sort of obvious, but from what I've seen of tutors recently it will be big news to them. I think we can presume that the 10% of designers who read blogs and the 1% of that 10% who are prepared to comment are the converted. I'm talking to the tutors of the other 99.9%. When I was at a school last year the tutors talked about a design industry that seemed alien to me. I hope I'm right in my assumptions.

Chicago, you are wrong. There is a huge future in graphic design. Graphic designers are creative, passionate and insightful problem solvers. I'm don't want to sound harsh, but I get fed up with people like yourself breeding misery. You work in a fantastic industry. Enjoy it.

Graham, you've raised an interesting point. I ought to incorporate that. Bloody accountants.

Thank you all so much for your help. I shall now rewrite based on your comments. And I'm pleased you all seemed to like the 'design is the new management consultancy' thing. I hope to write more about that soon.


This may be too late, but here it is anyway.

All makes prefect sense. The management consultant line is particularly apt. An ad planner mate who now works at a design consultancy tells me they're working this approach with some success.

Might I suggest you also think about flexibility? There's been a lot of talk recently from planner types about how consistency is less relevant for brands these days. If this is true, it's likely to have important implications for designers.

Does that make sense?

Hope the talk goes/went well.

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