A few years ago, I met up with an old school friend and his wife (you know who you are!)*…
*so as not to offend anybody I’ll use the pseudonyms ‘Old School Friend’ and ‘His Wife’… Although I don’t think they’ll be reading this as we aren’t really in touch any more… either face to face or on social media… So any of you out there reading this, it’s not you. Hopefully.
Upon greeting, pleasantries, asking after each other’s families, we got to careers… ‘so what are you doing these days, Carl, are you still doing that arty stuff you were always into?’ enquired His Wife, ‘I suppose you’ve got some fancy job doing something or other?’
‘Er. I’m a Graphic Designer…’ was my tentative reply.
‘I thought that was all done by computers these days?’ she added… ‘so what do you design?’
‘I design all sorts of things… brand identities, brochures, food packaging, catalogues, business stationery, vehicle graphics, signs, exhibition stands… In fact (pointing to the Tesco brand identity – a project that took around two years!) I designed that…’
‘What? You type a word into a computer, add a bit of colour to it?’ The Wife replied… ‘and I bet you get paid a bloody fortune for doing it too. It’s easy. I could do that…’
I’ve thought about this a lot over the years. And I meet a lot of people, socially, professionally, etc, who don’t really understand the role of a graphic designer. They don’t really place a value on what we do. I hear these kinds of thing quite often…
‘Why do I need to pay you to do that? My wife can knock something up in Word’
‘My daughter is quite good at art, she’s designed me a logo. I think it’s great. What do you think?’
It’s like me saying
‘Why do I need an accountant when I can use a calculator?
‘Company mobile phones? Nah. Bit of string and a couple of cans please..!’
I think you get my drift?