What is a “designer”? And how did we get here from print to web. Here’s a short view of the changes in the design workforce from my perspective and as a result the hybrid designer.
Scope Changes to the Workforce
There was a change in business needs from just graphic design to also include web design in the mid 2000s. And this shift of sorts started in the mid 90s. During the same time there was a change in what was required of a designer from just print to include at least some web design in many companies. In my view this was a business driven need that spurred evolution, because it would be less burdensome financially for a business to have a group or one person that could do both. I am not saying all designers or all companies, but many followed this rational.
The Hybrid Designer
That sounds like some sort of cool design terminator. Anyway, this migration created a hybrid designer that was not only equipped for the print world but also the web world. In that vein, there are many designers that are just that. They span both print, web, and more.
Having said that, it worth noting that there are purely web designers and print designers. That is the awesome. My point is that there was a large shift in the design workforce and what was required of the design workforce evolved in many companies. Now many designers can do both. And with apps ever increasing I thinking another evolution into UX across the board is here right now.
Dude, Where’s My Title?
So the conundrum for a designer like me is what is my label or title? I can create logos with ink and pen, I can airbrush an illustration, I create a brochure and prepare it for press, I can design and build a website from scratch, I can run usability testing and analyze data, I have created wire frames as an IA for F500s, I can develop in PHP, and I can write iPhone apps in Objective-C. So what is my title? I choose to call myself a “designer”.
Whatever my title is, I can’t imagine loving another job more than this one. So rather maybe rather than evolution maybe it was a workforce revolution? Let me know your thoughts.