Is graphic design dead?

Is graphic design dead?

Is graphic design dead?
I keep hearing terrible rumors that graphic design is dead. That people with no training in graphic design are picking up their smart phones and tablets, and graphic designing. Well, in part, this is true, phones and tablets are getting smarter by the day, and are helped along by some really great design apps. Canva is one of these apps, its actually really good, and if you have a little bit of creativity inside you, this will help bring it out.

But what does this mean for graphic designers? I mean the professional ones, like myself, that earn a living from this art. Well, to be honest, I’m not scared. I think its great that people can pick up apps like these and design what they need. A lot of people simply cannot afford the services of a professional graphic designer. Logoglo provide really accessible prices, so people can come and use our expertise. Which brings me to my next point.

Why people will still use graphic designers. The fact is, a creative thought and an app sometimes do not cut it. The experience of a seasoned designer, far outweighs the pre-sets of an app, and all ways will. If a business is serious about its image, they will turn to a graphic designer. The experience they have, creativity, and taste, will all help in creating that perfect logo. Also, when it comes to print, it can get complicated, dealing with colors, margins, gutters and bleed, are all technical aspects that your app will not help with.

So, I would say, use those apps for fun, or for small projects like invites, cards, etc, but if you need anything done professionally, like your companies brand design, use a professional, every time.


Is graphic design dead? was last modified: September 29th, 2016 by Gary


  1. I’m a seasoned professional graphic designer of almost 19 years, self employed with my own business for almost 14 years and I’m just about dead. I used to have more work than I knew what to do with and lived on a very comfortable income. I’m now below poverty income level and my business is almost dead. It’s not just smart phones, tablets and apps. There are professional graphic designers all over the world. SO many freelance sites where creative professionals in India (for example) can and do work for $5/hr. How about – yikes! Vista Print – OUCH! It IS a dying profession for the individual graphic designer. Well, at least it is for me. I’m not throwing in the towel quite yet, but if business doesn’t pick QUICK, I’ll have no choice but to walk away from my beloved profession and business that I’ve worked so hard for. What will I do? I don’t know. Probably flip burgers.

    1. Author

      I know the feeling! we are doing ok because we charge so little, I hope it picks up for you.

  2. I have about 30 years of experience, and have had my own design business for 15 years. In my market – it is all but completely dead. Just ten years ago it was like another world. The other thing is that depending on what market you are in, there is a lack of value put on design services by many clients and corporations. They view it as something that can easily be addressed in-house with some very young employees who will not affect the overhead costs to any great degree.

    I even attempted to re-enter the job market again, but have had no luck in two years. Why? Probably because I am too old to be hired as a designer at this point. Why would any corporation hire a senior designer when the market is flooded with new graduates who are willing to work for anything? The introduction of iPhone apps, web sites, and just general social media have all but completely choked out any need for a seasoned designer. To be honest, most graphic designers have historically been much more interested in printed collateral over digital. Digital design just doesn’t have the same impact. In much the same way that digital download services have rendered the need for amazing vinyl record packaging as obsolete, GUI and social media design have taken over print because it’s a faster-to-market medium. It’s all temporary and trend-based. For designers who have been focused on print their whole careers, this is a death blow, which is becoming quite obvious to those who cannot find work.

    In closing, the most depressing aspect of this turn in the industry, more senior designers like myself have a very negative view of social media for many reasons. Namely, it creates a false narrative and is based on antisocial behavior. This is to say, someone may post a comment to gain acceptance to a particular group, but that individual might oppose that opinion, but would rather be accepted in lieu of their own personal beliefs. This has already shown up in much of the social media world, and is a good reason why many a seasoned designer frowns upon social media (which is pretty much what graphic design services now), and either changes careers or becomes part of the collective, or at least tries to.

    Real design is still happening, but it seems to be connected to bigger markets where the clients are more aware and educated about the power of good design, as opposed to the wasteland of social media. These companies are few and far between: Pentagram, etc.

    Good luck everyone.

    1. Author

      A very true and valid response. People really do not take “design” serious anymore as they believe they can do it themselves. Which in part is true, they can make things on canva, vistaprint even has a logo maker. I think the majority of our customers come to use, a: we are pretty inexpensive, and b: they still would prefer the eye of a trained graphic designer.

  3. I totally agree with Camille and Smith above. I have a college degree in design, and I wanted to do print design far more than digital, although I was pretty skilled in HTML+CSS+Photoshop and when Flash was big, could do loads with that. But print design is what was most desired. You produced a real, physical, tangible product and clients saw that expensive-to-produce and print magazine ad or brochure or poster or tradeshow display and it added a real sense of worth to what you provided.

    Nowadays, because no one pays for anything (just look at how Billboard charts have done cartwheels and backflips to try to stay on top of how to gauge “success” of artists and music in an age where the vast majority of listeners outright refuse to pay for anything), design has been essentially killed. Sure, a few design gigs exist here and there, but due to insane #s of qualified workers the pay is abysmal and most design positions have been merged in with responsibilities of writers/marketers/PR people wearing a “marketing” hat at companies. Gone are the days when you could focus on visually communicating an idea or concept or getting to the heart of what a customer wants. Now you gotta crank that design out and spend all your time dinking around in Google Analytics and buying AdWords. *yawn*

    Design isn’t even fun anymore. I’ve switched to a completely different field, and my last design-related job ended well over 3 years ago. I made less then over a decade post-graduation than I did fresh out of college with no real-world experience. It’s dead, Jim.

    BTW – I loathe social media too. It’s fundamentally changed and effectively killed the internet as we know it over the last decade.

    Everyone has a soapbox, and everyone shouldn’t have a soapbox.

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