For the purpose of this blog entry, I am considering the "environmental" category not in the traditional sense, but in the realm of the design environment. When I saw the harsh effects of the recession, I thought to myself, "Well, there goes my career." In today's design environment and in a time when people aren't willing to spend money on things they once considered a necessity, I assumed they definitely wouldn't be willing to spend on aesthetics. But my observations prove otherwise; there is just as much, if not more, effective design happening in the country today than in the past. I believe this is because the role of a designer has expanded in every direction. We are no longer simply "commercial artists." We have complex roles and are often involved in the entire marketing process, from conception of ideas to implementation in a tangible form. Because we have become so versatile and the definition of a designer so malleable, designers will always have a role in society. Thus, we are empowered by our creativity and skills to be constantly productive and very, very necessary in the current environment.
I recently saw the film "Art & Copy" in my GD4 class. While I hadn't considered it, designers are often pushed into one category: the group or individual that churns out the aesthetic of a physical product. However, there is much more to the process of creating than it's aesthetic component. Everything starts with an idea, and in the past I have found a distinct separation between the 'idea people' and the 'designers.' "Art & Copy" deliberately blurs the line between the two, and presents ad campaigns that discuss all parts of the design process (film). This is a refreshing reminder that we are not limited to our technical skills; our creativity is needed in concepting, editing, critiquing, and finally, implementing ideas. This is why we will always be around! We are simply too interspersed in the communication process to be excluded.
If you need further proof of our necessity, take a look at any t.v. commercial, print or web advertisement, public service announcement, or even household object. Even in a recession new campaigns appear constantly, meaning designers are still considered necessary to the marketing process, and continue to be hired for their skill and ideas. Here is a recent ad in which the design is clearly evident:
This commercial is not only sleek and engaging, but also employs a creative team's concept to create an image of what Jeep means to America. The concepted image puts emphasis on American manufacturing and shows the value of the product, even in our economy, by reassuring the audience of the quality of production and viability of Jeep. "The Things We Make Make Us" couldn't be more appropriate as the slogan for this example of design.
Fear not, classmates. We will always have a place in the world, thanks to our exceptional flexibility and capability, and our ever-changing roles as empowered designers.
(2010, July 12) 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Manifesto Commerical from DCH Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Temecula. Retrieved from http://carcommercialfan.com/2010/07/2011-jeep-grand-cherokee-manifesto-commercial-from-dch-chrysler-jeep-dodge-of-temecula/
Greenway, J. and Nadeau, M. (Producer), & Pray, D. (Director). (2009). Art & Copy [Motion picture]. United States: The One Club.