For many years I have watched the very word “Graphic Designer” morph, twist and get watered down to it’s very meaning. With so many new ways to create a subset of visual communication, the term itself has become muted over the years due to interchangeable and overlapping skills. Don’t get me wrong, I am a strong believer of embracing all of today’s creative programs and expanding your creative problem solving techniques, but we are still in need of specialized experts that work together as a team.
These days the assumption is often that "have computer and software, anyone can do it," the downside of technological advances.
I see more and more request for designers who must have illustrative skills and know all aspects of web developing with the same pay rate as if it was one skill. It has snowballed and I have seen job posts requiring a extreme list of skills and abilities: design, illustration, web coding, video, 3D Cad programming, photography, motion graphics, editing, camera work, audio, planning documents, coordinate systems data, copy writing, and bookkeeping.
My concern is there are too many "ignorant executives, clueless about design" trying to fuse it all together to save a few bucks". Where and when does it stop? These people have no idea how much time it takes to learn, master, composite and execute an idea with just one skill, let alone all of them. To increase profits The fad of requiring all employees to be “Jack-of-all-trades and masters of none" is effecting quality. Standards descend as profits rise.
In a forum a few months back I raised this question and it seemed to hit a nerve and got a huge response. Some comments from that forum below show this is a subject that is of major concern to a LOT of people: freelancers and staffers alike. What are your views?