For the Benefit of the Whole Design Industry
Our individual actions as professional graphic designers, in our daily practice, have a great impact on our entire design industry, within the whole communication industry. We are all part of a big circle that unites us and what happens to one of us, will always affect others. By raising our industry standards to what they were previously and by consistently creating real measurable value for our customers, it will inevitably raise our design industry’s value once again for the benefit of all. But this can only be achieved if we all work together as a design community with this common goal.
Let us begin by clearly defining where the real value of a professional graphic designer always came from. The only reason why clients have a need for our creative services, is because we have the ability to make them more successful and more profitable. That’s it! Our job is to create more value and profits for them. If we fail them at this task, we are not only taking value away from their business, but also taking value away from our own design industry services. We think this is exactly what is happening to the graphic design industry today. Our communications industry took away most of our value and we need to restore it as a community. Put yourself in the place of the client. In today’s marketplace, if a company is to be more successful, profitable and wants to generate more money, it has a choice between contracting a marketing agency, an advertising agency, a web development firm, a graphic design firm, a video production company, a photographer/illustrator or even a printing company. They will usually choose what will generate a greater return on investment (ROI), depending if they are selling a product, a service, or promoting an event or program. Today, we seem less relevant than web developers and that’s simply not true!
The growth of the Internet and new technologies created this massive transformation, which is still happening today. What’s most important is that this change brought with it a profound human revolution, changing the entire world culturally, and this is what we need to focus on to find solutions to our common problems. It dramatically transformed our daily habits and how we communicate. Today, how people get their information and how they communicate with each other is the only thing that really matters. Within this lies the key to all the solutions to our common problems. At this point in time, our industry is still readjusting itself to serve the needs of the changing marketplace. If we are to reinvent ourselves, to become once again relevant and in demand, we have to analyze what really happened to the graphic design industry. Understanding where the graphic design industry is operating, within the entire communications industry, is the starting point to finding common solutions for tomorrow.
As a design community, we have a choice to make. What we are actually witnessing today is not necessarily the decline of the graphic design industry, but its complete transformation. In order to make room for the new, what inevitably comes with it, is the need to get rid of the old. One cannot exist with the other. Things aren’t either bad or good at this moment in time. Bad or good is only a point of view. Everybody, regardless of age, still has the ability to choose between a glass which is half full or one which is half empty. It really only comes down to a choice. As professionals we are always looking for ways to adapt our creative services to our clients’ growing needs. Even though our industry has undergone a tremendous transformation, most of us are still thriving, or to be more precise, designers who consistently bring value to their clients are still designing and thriving.
Our sincere objective with our book, How to Succeed as a Graphic Designer, is to give the current generation of designers the ability to embrace this change and give the older generation new hope, so we can all, in turn, look forward to having a long-lasting and successful career as graphic designers. Our objective with this website, is to give you the right tools you need on a daily basis, to raise graphic design’s value, by applying true and tested industry standards. During these past twenty-five years, we went from working with the highest standards in graphic design, to witnessing two decades of our industry becoming a shadow of its former self. This steady decline of the graphic design industry has to stop. By passing on this precious knowledge to the next generation of designers, maybe – just maybe – we can all begin to make our industry great again and in demand.
We also strongly believe that we need to start closing any generation gap, between the older designers and the younger generation, if we are to create the business ventures of tomorrow. If our industry is to thrive again, it will be through cooperation and learning from our past failures and successes as graphic designers. By taking back our place within the whole communications industry, we will achieve our common goal. Our book will give you step-by-step methods which you can start using right away in your day-to-day work to make you invaluable in the eyes of your clients and employers. We sincerely wish this kind of success for you too.
Maybe our attempt to change our industry may seem futile, but applying the knowledge that made this profession great is not! We guarantee that! Our book was written to begin an ongoing, one-on-one conversation with the next generation of graphic designers. Our career’s continuing success came from what we were taught by industry professionals a long time ago, and we want to share this past and present knowledge with you, the current generation of designers, in the true spirit of master to apprentice. Our profession needs to become relevant to the world once more, because we are! We hold a high responsibility within society. We are shaping its culture! That’s the by-product of our role as graphic designers.