I was recently interviewed on the subject of changing technologies in design, along side other designers; Chris Spooner, Eric Karjaluoto, T.R. Eisenberg and David Airey. Below are my answers, but you can find the full post over on Joanna Designs blog.
As such an experienced designer, how do you manage to keep up with all the new trends and technologies?
I’ve personally found that the best way to keep up with the new technologies & trends is by reading blogs and by following the right people. With this said, it is important not to follow trends for trends sake, but rather to be informed of what is possible and what to avoid. Same goes with new technology, it should be generally be used with purpose, not just “because”.
Do you believe that a battle between printed and digital media exists?
I wouldn’t call it a battle but rather, a shift or change in they way we consume and interact with media. Print is certainly declining and digital on the rise, but I don’t think that print will ever be dead… my business card is proof of that.
Would you ever hire a designer who doesn’t have social media accounts like Facebook or Twitter?
Yes, of course I’d hire a designer without social accounts. I know many talented designers who don’t get caught up with the social aspects of Facebook, Twitter and the likes. There are certainly pros and cons of both but I don’t think it would influence my decision to hire or not, unless it came down to two equally skilled designers.
Do you think web developers will become the new graphic designers?
Web developers are in some sense designing, however this question really depends on the definitions of both of these titles. I don’t believe web developers are the ‘new graphic designers’ per se, but there are overlaps.
Are there any new tools / technology for designers that you don’t like as much?
There are new tools, technologies and applications coming out everyday and it’s simply impossible to keep up with them all. Certainly a few take my interest more than others, but at the end of the day I tend to stick with the tools that make life easier. Tools such as Dropbox and Spotify.
Do you think that universities are preparing graphic design students well for such a fast changing industry?
I’ve been too out of touch with the university system to give an educated answer here, but I do know for a fact that when I was studying back in 2007 web design education was far behind and my classes consisted of going to a tutorial on the web.
If you had to choose between a designer who is a skillful programmer and a talented typographer, who would you choose over?
When it comes to web design, 80% of the design is based on typography so I would have to go with the typographer. Developers can more easily replicate a design, than creating their own.
Do you think that some designers just aren’t able to keep up with the fast changes of the industry?
No one can know it all, but my advice would be to keep up to date with what interests you and what you think will be best for your career. Personally, I don’t like to code however I do keep up to date with the knowledge of what is possible, and what technology is required to do it. This way the implementation can be done by professionals but the design and thinking can come from myself.
What do you think will happen to designers who ignore learning from digital media and want to focus only on print?
I don’t think it will be possible to ignore digital media. There is a natural progression here and soon enough, nearly everyone will be touching digital media whether they like it or not.
Have any further questions? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll get back to you.