Questioning “Graphic” Design 01:
Does “Graphic” Design exist in 2012?!
By Admin I : Let me make some things clear from the beginning: I know as a young graphic designer that I might not be experienced enough to discuss such a topic, but who cares, it was never about experience in this blog but about triggering some question marks and initiating debate, so save your fingers some action and lose the hate comments, we’re here to discuss a major issue: “Graphic Design is DEAD”.
Yes I was acting surprised the minute I heard that expression from a teacher but deep down, I was totally aware of that matter as many aspiring designers are. It’s the same issue taking several forms in many fields: there’s the nurse and the doctor, the tailor, the couturier and the designer.. it’s all about hierarchy which doesn’t exist in Graphic Design (junior,art director, creative director is not really a hierarchy to me). It is when you reach a decision even if you are in your early twenties, that “fuc* it” I do not want to spend the next 20 years designing editorials, brochures and logos for mediocre clients waiting to have enough money to fly on my own. NO. “Graphic” design is not really what it should be – at least not what I want it to be (and yes my ego’s highly interfering here).
Being part-time nerd, full-time diva, I was intrigued to do some readings about the subject, and surprisingly, google level readings were enough to prove my point. 4 years ago, the The New Views 2 conference held in London managed to formulate a take on this subject matter:
“we currently see design education as teaching people to design. Instead we want to teach people THROUGH design.”
The conference believed that graduates need to be politically and socially engaged. You’ll never achieve that teaching Photoshop and yet this is what we fool ourselves in to thinking and claiming. Instead we shift approach and teach students about the world in which they are living, using design as the tool to do that and allowing them to demonstrate what they have learned through design. Learning Photoshop then becomes a skill that is picked up to show understanding of the world, not because it is a skill in itself. graphic designers can’t tackle crime, for example unless you think a nice leaflet will do that. But as ‘Design Against Crime’ has shown, designers can.
Losing the word ‘Graphic’ opens up so many possibilities it’s hard to understand why anyone would resist.
So back to me and my design rebel: yes folks, it is indeed a need for us all to claim for our right to lose the word ‘Graphic’ from our educational system, simply because it flattens what we do to a ground level where we are only asked to take care of aesthetically oriented matters and remain highly passive towards the flow of information coming from orthodox design communities. If you think you have more to do than to choose colors from a pantone booklet or get OCD’ed about a layout’s alignment, then you should really join this quest!
Many of you think it can be easily solved by asking “why did you go for Graphic Design as a major?” and the answer can be quite simple: “Design” is what me and a bunch of fellows cherish and practice, classifying designers into categories just because they can choose a typeface (which usually is Helvetica), match tiles to wall colors or recycle garments and call it couture, is quite demeaning to us as individuals and to design as an existing world-changing phenomenon.
“degree-level design education needs to define itself so that it offers something to the world beyond simply churning out people who can make a leaflet selling crap nobody wants.”
This is all what i have to say for now, waiting for more enthusiastic people that are ready to lose the word “Graphic” from their “labeled” CVs and start searching for new tools. Let’s all get out of the Adobe shells we were programmed to fit; The “design” age has already started!