The dreaded questions every designer faces

All designers at least once in their lives (but more likely on a frequent basis) have had to answer the dreaded questions “what is it designers do?” and “why do we need you?” either directly or implied.There is an idea in some people’s minds that design is simply putting the pretty bow on something; this is a very surface level way of thinking that as designers we are constantly trying to get rid of. Despite most business markets are becoming more saturated, in turn making standing out as a brand a harder feat business people still have a hard time seeing the added value in designers. Shawn McKinney in the article “A Shared Language”, suggests that to cast away the idea of design being a commodity designers need to take on more roles and make sure that they are needed, creating a “new designer”.

This in no way means the end of graphic design as a viable career path it just means we need to understand the importance we play and express our importance in the business world.

The value of a designer comes into question because it is not clearly defined what designers bring to the table and thus, people see it as something that can be completed by anyone. McKinney points out crowd-sourcing sites to show part of why the value of design is not clear to some people. While they are helpful for the small businesses to get designs for much less than they would pay a freelance designer or design firm; they take away the value of the work that designers do. The difference in quality of design work may be evident to us design folk but those running the business with no background in design might just find it an easy way to save a buck. I also find that with sites like squarespace where it is very simple to put together a clean and nice looking website it puts pressure on designers to bring more to the table. This in no way means the end of graphic design as a viable career path it just means we need to understand the importance we play and express our importance in the business world.

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