In the beginning what it meant to be a graphic designer was simple. A shiny new mac, a big desk overflowing with sketches and ironic tchotkes. The location was a hip office in a thriving economy where the job description was as clear and clean as Helvetica: 8-10 thrilling hours a day creating logos, posters, packaging and cutting edge page layouts for glossy magazines. Pockets were deep and creativity was of utmost value.
Then things changed. The tide went out and the currency of creativity got swept out to sea. Facebook shifted from novelty time waster to an essential tool for companies large and small. Suddenly, introducing oneself as a “graphic designer” sounded quaint and limiting. The shifting roles and responsibilities demanded to survive meant the death of the “graphic designer” and left us reborn as designers.
Now, to be a designer means having dignity and grace in the time of Facebook. Gone are the days of knowing your role and getting patted on the back for “being creative”…. Only the tchotchkes survived the transition.One must become as expert in the ins and outs of Twitter as they are with the ins and outs of Photoshop.
The journey from graphic designer to designer is as exciting as it is challenging. The moment one thinks they have it all figured out, is the moment they get left behind in the blink of an Instagram. The reborn designer creates all elements of today’s media, and most importantly must be well versed in distributing the content across the myriad and ever-changing viewing platforms and channels.