What do old graphic designers think of young graphic designers of today? – Quora

This is the answer I posted on Quora:

While I started as a print designer, I design almost exclusively for the web today, and if you look on the internet right now, it seems like 80% of all websites launched in the last five years look like they came from the same template.

And what do you know? They have big moving hero above three columns of boxes, all optimized for mobile.

I think today that young graphic designers, the truly creative right-brained ones, are at a serious disadvantage. The merging of tech and art is nearly complete, which has given us the specter of the designer-developer. This to me is no better than having an architect-plumber or a chef-maitre-D’. Sure, you can do both, but you will not get the best possible results of having two people with complementing disciplines working in concert. Employers think they save money on labor by hiring one person, but the end result looks like everything else out there — with different colors.

The developer will not design something that exceeds his or her abilities to code for it. Developer-designers or “front-end developers” (even the word designer is going away) will argue with me, of course, but these people casually cherry pick from existing trends to “create” their designs. This leaves us with web interfaces as staid now as print design was before the advent of the Macintosh.

The dominance of WordPress, which runs about 80% of the web these days, makes matters even worse. I’d estimate that 90% of those sites are made with off-the-shelf themes, most of which are big moving hero above three columns of boxes.

The only art direction involved is the branding placement and choice of photographs. As someone who does not like to code, this actually helps me, but it turns the job into mere data entry. Building websites has become so much drudgery, and since this is all clients see out there, this is what I end up presenting them as well. I will ask a prospective client to show me what they like, and invariably they show me big moving hero above three columns of boxes.

With print dying (yes, it is dying) and desktop displays on the wain, designers have smartphones and tablets as their canvass now, but here the coder lords supreme. With such small interfaces, the opportunities to make impact just with thoughtful design has all but vanished.

User-interface design is mostly a science, not an art, and while there will always be some amazing work done by some very special true designers, the industry of design has largely been subsumed by high-tech, and never again will graphic designers ever be able to create something that casts an actual shadow.

Which is why I now spend a growing part of my day working in my wood shop making birdhouses.

Source: Randy Garbin’s answer to What do old graphic designers think of young graphic designers of today? – Quora

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