A Decade in Graphic Design

Old School vs. New School? What‘s the big deal? When looking into whether there‘s a difference between the two schools of graphic design, old vs. new, I would say that there absolutely is a difference. So, what‘s the big deal, and what is the difference anyway?

It‘s inevitable that designer‘s will always go back to basics to re-learn, re-develop and refresh their thoughts and adapt their skills to keep up with modern times. This means going „back to the drawing board,“ and using old tools, like sketching, in order to find new ways of expression and achieve innovative outcomes. The methodology of sketching is about reflecting your emotions, and learning from your mistakes. There is no undo button to go back and revise, like when working on a computer, so a piece of art that is produced, somehow, actually maintains its value, since its effectively „handmade;“ this can also have incredible value as it can be used as needed to look back and reference when in need of inspiration.

Yet there is a lot of value in having graphic designing technology available at ones‘ fingertips, complete with undo buttons, the variety of type-faces, and creative options like the use of vectors to change the artwork until it evolves into the finished project, within a much shorter period of time. Computer-based options are infinite, and learning how to use these programs can be achieved over time, and are very instantly gratifying as they quickly bring creative visuals to life; whereas sketching, may be more challenging for those that feel they are less artistic. However, technological advancement is not without its drawbacks; I believe we are entering the „everyone is an artist era,“ especially in Saudi Arabia, this became the trend, and this negatively affects the standard of graphic art in the Kingdom and demeans the hard work of those who consider themselves real artists that feel the passion pumping through their veins.

In my humble experience, I tend to subscribe to a more blended approach, which starts with mind mapping an idea, researching it, brainstorming, sketching, then starting the artwork on the computer and after continuous development, finalizing the project. I believe that if modern graphic designers did this more, rather than going straight to their Mac‘s to brainstorm an idea, they would find various alternative ways to produce an original idea, drastically improving their work. Every graphic designer subscribes to whichever method suits them and results in the best creative product, whether first sketching, or going to the computer, or mind-mapping. There are many different methods, but in the end, the result is the true judge; and, although there will always be new discoveries, and new ways of seeing things, what truly matters, is doing things in a way that helps you to produce your best work, whether old school or new.

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