Will Graphic Designers Become Obsolete by 2030?

Are graphic designers going to be replaced by machines by 2030?

Way back in 2013, a research paper by Oxford University outlined the probability of specific jobs and occupations being replaced by intelligent machines by the year 2033.

The term “graphic designer” was not on the list, as it was seemingly too broad for their study. But photographer, interior designer, and art director were on the list. What do you think the probability of “art director” becoming obsolete by 2033 was? 

According to Oxford, 2.3%. That’s a small percentage, but let’s take a closer look at this and see how the future might pan out for graphic designers specifically. 

You might be surprised to see how near the future is upon us.

Defining “Graphic Designer”

First, we have to look at what graphic design is. Maybe you do know what graphic design is, or perhaps you think you know.

The main purpose of graphic design is to communicate ideas to an audience effectively using standard design principles.

The goal of a specific design might be to trigger someone to take any action or expose them to an idea, concept, or information. 

Objectives in graphic design occur through a combination of design practices, principles, strategic composition or compositing, and a splash of creativity.

Some of these graphic design principles include hierarchy, contrast, and proximity. These are some of the essential elements of a successful design.

Having said that, we could conclude that graphic design is a way to communicate with people as a means to get them to do something.

A new era?

Before the internet was an ever-present thing in our lives, graphic designers used media such as direct emailing, billboards, and printed advertisements to achieve a company’s goals.

Designers from back then were forced to adapt to technological advances. If they chose to remain with outdated strategies and tools, they would quickly fall off the grid, replaced by newer designers with updated tools and concepts.

Those types of designers would definitely have a hard time finding clients in today’s market. Graphic design can be a saturated and tricky career because adaptation and constant improvement in an evolving industry are necessary to stay afloat.

This has happened in other careers. New tools and skills are continuously being developed by professionals of all kinds to better accommodate this constant progression. 

Way back, motion graphics wasn’t a thing that many graphic designers or video editors chose to specialize in. Today, it’s something that many graphic designers must learn to do or aspire to do since they must dabble in multiple areas of design such as web design, 3D modeling, motion graphics, etc.

What happens when the tools being made are being adopted using artificial intelligence? 

Suppose businesses successfully implemented machine learning in graphic design. Then, the only thing left is hand editing what comes out of the program’s algorithm for it to be sufficiently stunning to be used commercially.

Will designers cease to exist in the future?

If you think about it, the process described above is not too far off from what designers are doing with adobe software. Most of the time, a designer’s workflow is pretty much already automated.

Consider the following tasks:

  • Typesetting
  • Aligning
  • Mathematical calculations and modeling
  • Duplicating objects perfectly

Designers did these tasks manually before, but now they can be done with a few clicks on software such as Adobe Illustrator. 

Is this just a natural progression of the next generation of design? Are designers evolving together with technology, or is technology evolving with designers?

Our take? Building design tools to apply algorithms in design processes will eventually make designers better by learning about what they’re doing. You’re building better designers, not replacing them.

The “robotic” aspect doesn’t seem to be taking over design just yet. Designers in the past failed to adapt and synchronize with tech areas. As long as today’s designers remain calm and take charge in learning new skills and software necessary for design, they should be fine.

The “human” element of design must always be present. It’s being aware of changes in the industry, tweaking your workflow, and improving your skills to go with the flow.

Whether you are a website designer, logo designer, product designer, art director, or even other areas of design and creative industries, you will need to adapt to continue evolving in your creative field.

The role of designers has changed. Adding “more strings to your bow” by learning to code or improve your motion graphic techniques will allow you to be more involved in other areas of creation.

Don’t worry. This won’t happen too quickly. You won’t need to wake up tomorrow learning how to code AI to make a design. However, keep in mind that this progression is probably the natural thing for the future. 

No one can accurately predict the future. This might as well be an educated guess for what’s to come. Will designers always oversee machines? Or will machines teach themselves to be faster and more creative than their owners?

If you’re a designer or firm that has been doubtful of what’s to come, be sure that proper research, constant practice, and the desire to improve constantly go a long way in your success in the industry.

We hope this has been helpful to you. If you want to learn more about graphic design and digital marketing, be sure to check out more of our blog. We post weekly content that ties together multiple areas of digital content marketing based on our experience in the industry. Click here to read more!

Alex Zertuche

Alex is a copywriter from Monterrey, México. He graduated from the Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey with a degree in Communications in Digital Media, specializing in Project Management for Creative Industries and Digital Media Production. He is passionate about entertainment, creative writing and generating engaging content through his work.

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