My initial thought is preserve the future of the design profession. I strongly believe that changing the world’s view of the designer as a team member rather than just a tool begins with educating the population about our roles in society and how design thinking contributes to these roles. By educating future graphic design professionals, the leaders of corporations, and the decision makers of associations, we can bring awareness to the roles of graphic designers in the development of messages that call on a population to take action from the concept of an idea to its final execution.
Rebranding the Graphic Designer into A Design Thinker in Organizations
The value of the graphic designer is at risk. Due to the automated processes of certain software, amateur designers are flooding our industry. Sources and users of crowd-sourcing are undermining the importance of our profession. These alternatives threaten the value of trained participants of the profession by providing graphic design services at costs and quality that are less than a professional designer’s worth.
It is imperative that the “graphic designer” is rebranded into a “design thinker” within these organizations. While our industry acknowledges the evolution of technology and its effect on graphic design industry, we must implement design thinking into the creative process so that our profession is recognized as a valuable asset to the leaders of organizations. The process of design thinking requires that graphic designers practice the exploration of ideas through brainstorming, research, collaboration, and experimentation to develop solid human-centric solutions.
Therefore, just as our industry recognizes that there are changes within our profession, we must begin to draw attention to the valuable roles/positions that our professional design thinkers offer in organizations. How can we use our expertise to create visual communications that will educate business leaders about our ability to solve design problems compared to the executions of novice designers?
As I explore this interest, I realize that there are two potential paths to addressing this issue:
- Educate the leaders of organizations about the methodologies and processes of design thinking by developing materials that will show them the impact of building teams that include professional graphic designers so that our input is available at each step of the creative process from concept to the execution of a product.
- Develop models that will educate human resources departments about changes in the graphic design industry and make them aware that design thinkers can offer better design solutions through their methodologies and processes than novice designers.
Redefining Graphic Design By Reintroduction
I was recently asked, “What is graphic design?” This question was part of a project that was required for the course Design Methodologies. After taking my time to formulate a definition, I realized that my current response was much different than the one I would have given to the same question ten years ago. After this realization, I wanted to make this definition my own by calling it Methodologies by Addition and Design by Subtraction. In short, I wanted to define how methodologies and processes assist designers in building on ideas through research and exploration and how a design solution is revealed when these ideas are refined through the subtraction of ideas, which were tested or challenged with theory and collaboration.
I would like to present this concept towards prospective graphic design students preparing for college. It offered a visual introduction to the methodologies and processes that develop human-centric design solutions. The prospect design students can explore and interact with to gain a better understanding of what methodologies and processes a design thinker utilizes to develop solid human-centric design solutions.