Us Versus Them

Nancy Nowacek on Design in Comm Arts.

Despite the market’s great expectations, these very well may be the worst times for graphic design. The Web, still in its relative infancy, has given birth to Web site design, which seems, from the experiences and observations of the author, to be forging a schism in what we used to call “design,” diluting, degrading and disengaging all those who called themselves “designers.”

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Web designers are responsible for what’s called “look and feel.” The graphic designer on the team rarely has the opportunity to analyze the client’s content and objectives, and give input on behalf of visual communication and meaning. The rest of the team has already done that for the graphic designer, so it’s up to the designer to make the Web site look good, regardless of the appropriateness of the proposed ideas. The Web designer is the hands of the team, and sometimes the eyes, but not the head, heart, or ears.