Graphic Design in the Next 25 Years

May 22, 2013

So much has changed in the field of graphic design in the past 25 years, and I’m sure much will change in the next 25. Maybe we will be able to strap on some virtual reality goggles and design sans a traditional monitor. Or maybe interfaces will take on an Iron Man or Minority Report-like quality (we’re already starting to see this happening). Wherever design goes, or wherever technology takes design, I know it will be nothing short of amazing. But there are a few core things about the design industry that I would love to see change in the next 25 years.

Understanding of What Graphic Designers Do

Everyone generally knows what a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer does, but when I tell most people that I am a graphic designer, the reaction is often blank stares. In the next 25 years I would love to see increased awareness about what graphic designers create, and contribute to the world. Designers create the road signage you see when you drive, the signage at airports that guide you through, maps (digital or physical) that help you find your way, the packaging for all the items in your pantry, and the interfaces you interact with on all your digital devices. Designers have a hand in almost everything, but most people don’t realize it. Increased awareness of what designers contribute to society would greatly help out with the next thing I would love to see changed.

Increased Respect for the Work of Designers

I can’t count how many stories I’ve read about clients devaluing the work of designers. “If you can’t design a logo for me at a lower price, I’ll just go on youtube and learn how to design one myself.” That puts a very bad taste in my mouth. If you think about this particular example, a logo design will be on websites, stationary, advertising, merchandise, and a multitude of other things. A logo is branding. It can stick with you for life. If designed well, the initial investment will pay off in spades.

User Experience Design to Rule Them All

I would love to see user experience design as a requirement for all designers, in print, web, industrial, and any kind of design. Good designers do it instinctually, but all designers should have this be at the forefront of their thoughts. I have a universal remote, but from a user experience standpoint it’s terrible. It’s much easier for me to pick out the one remote I need out of the myriad remotes I have. First world problem I know, but I believe an easy and intuitive product, design, or message, will draw far more people in. Out of the 3 things I would love to see change, this one is already in progress. UX design is quickly becoming the norm and not the exception.

There are many other things I’d love to see change in the next 25 years, but I am hopeful the above three will come true.

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