It Will All Be Over Soon!

The AIGA National Conference this year had one very un/fortunate event which marked the continuing self-destructive nature of graphic designers. There on stage for all to see was the tragic comedy of graphic design which wallows in self-pity while begging for universal respect. Tee-hee-hee, look, I paid $99.99 so I can puppet a mindless, fellow graphic designer through meaningless iterations of a meaningless logo. Why? So I may make a point—the point that I have no more respect for my field of study than those who ask why anyone would ever go to school for four whole years (or more) to learn such a thing as design.

Why? Maybe because a massive room full of people who have little vision in seeing their future are scared and symbolically pulling the wings off of a fly who dare sell their design via some scheme provides some momentary sick diversion.

All of this sort of thing will be over very soon and those who are worried about loosing their jobs to types best wake up or start making logos faster. I have to say I have a great-big, new smile because I see the light at the end of this useless spin-cylce. I see what will finally do for graphic design what many in academia and the fringes of the profession tried to do in the 90s. What couldn’t be done from the top down will be done from the bottom up.

If graphic designers are riled-up about fast, cheap, out-of-control logos, they better get ready for what is coming next. What is coming is a true shift in the profession which will change it from top to bottom via the bottom to the top. The clouds are parting and the next AIGA National Conference will have to find a new floor show.

And what is it!? It is dead simple—just an equation is all one needs.

networked visual and creative databases (including AI-like templates) +
tagged original content +
results-oriented UIs =
one hell of a revolution

The revolution will occur. Many will deny it, but in the end, we will all be much better for it.

B R I N G - I T - O N !

What does this equation mean to you? If you don’t have a clue, you’d better find one.

////// more endless databases and robot people—it means more of the same floorshow //////

posted by Tony Brock on December 10, 2005 | comments: 6 | post a comment

what's the point of even making a logo any more? this is a hopeless reminiscence of an industrial-age and atomic-age ideal, in whicha company portrays itself accurately to a public who actively believes what the company says. that world's gone.

the actuality now is that entities covered in design are looked upon as liars. they are the big brother on the city sidewalsk that nobody cares about. the biggest pointer of this change in mindset was mcdonald's declining perception in the marketplace -- then their hurried repainting. nobody's loving the old mcdonald's any more.

that graphic designers at large are silly enough to believe they are still relevant in the same ways is absolutely asinine. design is now an interface through which your client's perception filters. your identity is the button that is clicked, not to mention how your user reaches that button to begin with. you are no longer creating yahoo's logo, you're creating the purple gloss through which yahoo declares itself on any surface -- and you're finding different ways for different things to be yahoo-like without slapping a logo on them.

the entire advertising/design model is currently undergoing a monumental collapse -- the past century and a half is slowly and quietly going away. and in my eyes, that's good.

the future is a world in which we work with our clients on their content management strategies. design as it was simply no longer matters.

Posted by pk on December 16, 2005 07:03 PM

PK: Yes indeed, it is a very good thing for all involved.

Posted by Tony Brock on December 19, 2005 02:09 PM

I like bumping into the big brothers on the sidewalk on my way UP from the bottom. Keeps things real.

Posted by Kris on December 22, 2005 02:23 PM

i like the idea of automating logo design. my limited experience in this arena proved itself to be souless and mind numbing [for me anyway]. if i could actually have legions of computer cycles running background processes such as this, that would be marvelous...........

based on this thread and reading 'how to be a graphic designer without losing your soul', i am starting to believe that i have a skewed version of what graphic design is supposed to be. it has always been about aesthetic expression for me- joy, delight, play, an elevated level of art in some ways because of its purpose and sensibility ..... i need to figure out quickly where i fit into all of this because i can't see myself having trust fall experiences in the woods with senior advertising directors - yikes

try as i might (hee), i could never fully automate a soul into a machine. therefore i am not threatened in the least by any machine or someone with a quick GRAFIK education. you can't inspire a machine. maybe you can't inspire a quik+cheap designer either ./ i would rather spend my time adapting and evolving rather than worrying about the mindlesssss design[ers].

Posted by lauren on December 27, 2005 11:43 AM

anything static = outdated. period.

(designers included)

Posted by mia on January 6, 2006 01:19 AM

Any and all channels will be threatened by interconnectedness, because that breaks down the channels.

Talent is more common that most realize. Talent and Insight is rarer.

You can either worry about change, ignore change or be an agent of change. Pick one.


Posted by hal on March 20, 2006 03:19 PM