To most young people nowadays, Graphic Design is nothing more than a 20 minute Photoshop job with a slapped on font. At first, those were my thoughts exactly. At the tender age of thirteen, I was under the impression that anyone with a copy of Photoshop could be a designer. In years of reading magazines and blogs, and also from experience, I now know that that is simply not the case.
Photoshop is nothing but a tool, one of many tools in fact. It’s a shame to see people think as I did, only a few short years ago.
Graphic Design is art. The beauty of a well designed piece is astounding and can be well appreciated by all. As a new type of art form (by new, I speak in relation to art that has been around thousands of years) some people may not realize that this is art. Traditional art is done on a canvas, or with sculpting tools, and even on city streets. Design is a digital artform, which gives naive people the misconception that anyone can be a Graphic Designer and create ‘designs’. Unfortunately, the term ‘design’ is thrown around so loosely that Graphic Design nowadays has seemed to be ‘dulled down’. In fact Graphic Design origniated without the use of computers, years and years ago. Thanks to technology, designers’ jobs have become much easier. Before it was creating fonts from scratch. Now, we can download a font with ease.
To me, Graphic Design is the ability to release my creative energies. To apply elements of design, such as typography, proximity, color, alignment and so forth, to create a piece of art. I am not the best designer out there, but then again, there was only one DaVinci. I make an effort to constantly learn more and more, so that I can call myself a designer. I’m at the point where I know I can. Mastering your tools (Photoshop, PC/Mac, tablets, Illustrator, etc) and knowing your skills (elements of design) is a must for anyone wanting to be in the field. Anything less, is not design.
A situation that really stood out to me was this: Someone I knew posted on Twitter or Facebook that she loved creating ‘graphic designs’. This was in reference to hacking some google images together onto a low res t-shirt design, with Paint Shop Pro. This, is not Graphic Design. This is learning and exprimentation. In no way shape or form would I ever call this person a Designer. Not to judge or put anyone down, because that is not what I am doing here, but this person knew nothing about design, nor did they want to. They simply wanted to finish the task at hand: design a shirt.
It’s things like this that really make me reevaluate my thoughts on Graphic Design. In reality, it is what it’s always been: an artform that not everyone can master. Simple.
What are your thoughts on this? Tell us what Graphic Design means to you!