Is Graphic Design a Lifetime Career?
I've been a graphic designer for more years than I actually want to say out loud. I've been looking around recently and I don't see many "older" designers? I hope I'm wrong about this. Is being a graphic designer a young person's profession? Keeping up with the ever-changing technology of design is very challenging and it seems like every employer expects a graphic designer to be an expert on the latest and greatest software. I remember when Flash was the rage to learn. I took a few classes but in the end, it took me away from illustrating and designing. I did this with HTML coding as well. These things took me away from what I do best, creating creative content.
I'm straying from my original question; do all graphic designers end up taking a "people-managing" position like a creative director or producer? Is it a "burn-out" position? Unlike other professions, we as designers are continually applying our skills to new marketing and branding avenues. I for one dabble in photography and video, applying these photographic images into many of my collages. I bought a high-end video camera and now sell stock video on Pond5.
Again, I ponder the original question; is graphic design a lifetime position? Even after this many years I have to prove myself to my newest employer or client. Although print skills are still in demand, digital advertising exploded even more than it was because of the pandemic. The new "trendy" software is Figma and Sketchup. And lately the agencies are moving away from Powerpoint to the more collaborative online apps such as Google Slides. Is being creative even something valued any more? Or is it the software skills are valued? How do you learn Figma without jumping into a collaborative project? Again, does this continued change in graphic technology exhaust or excite graphic designers? I will ask the designers reading this; are you an older graphic designer who still enjoys the hands-on creative process?
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Ian Ransley DESIGN
Ian Ransley is a Bay Area Digital Artist, Graphic Designer and Illustrator who has designed some of the most popular large-scale sporting and corporate events in the world.