1. Graphic designers are very rich
Many people think that all graphic designers make good money. They are convinced that the ‘graphic designer’ job title will instantly bring them cash, but this is far from reality. It’s fair to say that some senior designers, art directors and long-term freelancers manage to make decent money, but the truth is that graphic designers are not wealthy at all. Graphic design is a very competitive field to work in, so be prepared to fight for clients and projects all of the time. This means that sometimes you need to make a compromise when it comes to the fees you charge for your work.
2. Graphic design takes a few minutes
Graphic design is a complex job – it requires a lot of time and dedication and it’s far from easy. However, people who are not aware of this think that altering a design project requires just a few minutes. Graphic designers hate hearing statements such as “It will only take you a few seconds”, “It’s not a big change, it shouldn’t take you long”, because in most cases this is far from the truth. Depending on the skills and experience of the designer, as well as the complexity of the project, some graphic design alterations will take a long time to complete. So if you want a quality end product – be prepared to wait and be patient.
3. Graphic designers are born creative
There’s no such thing as people who are “born creative”. Some find it easier to create things, others don’t, but it doesn’t mean that all graphic designers knew what they were doing when they first started working. You should not be discouraged if you have not been working in the field before – give it a go, start your own little project and see if you find the whole process enjoyable. If you’re fascinated by design, but you don’t think you’re creative enough – don’t give up, there’s no formula for creativeness – with lots of work and plenty of time for research and inspiration, you can get there sooner than you think.
4. Graphic designers don’t need money (design should be free)
This myth is very popular among clients of graphic designers. They either believe that the projects themselves are very easy and not worth any money or that graphic designer friends should do them a favour by working for free. Graphic designers have to pay their bills, buy food and need money for accessing vital software such as the Adobe Creative Cloud, just as any other professional, so it’s very surprising when people seem to think that graphic design is not worth paying for.
Image by epSos .de licensed under CC BY – 2.0
5. Anyone can be a graphic designer
If you think that anyone can be a graphic designer, you’re making a terrible mistake. You can become one, if you are very dedicated to the job and you put in a lot of effort to learn and master the necessary skills. However, this doesn’t mean that everyone can do it – the job requires a lot more than desire and if you struggle to find your own style, it is likely that graphic design may not be for you.
6. Graphic design is only done on A computer
This myth is valid not only for graphic design, but for many modern professions. Graphic designers often use sketchbooks to gather all their ideas in one place, they also draw and scribble things on paper, boards, and many other non-digital platforms. Design is not only about the final product, but the process itself and this often doesn’t involve the use of computers.
Image by Juhan Sonin licensed under CC BY – 2.0
7. Everyone understands graphic design and “knows better” than the graphic designer
When it comes to working for employers or clients, graphics designers are used to listening to everyone else’s opinion rather than focusing on their own. However, this is very frustrating for professionals with vast experience in the industry. Everyone thinks they understand what graphic design is all about, when the truth is that not many people actually know what they’re talking about. The fact that you have some visual culture and you know the difference between a typeface and a font doesn’t mean that you are more prepared and skilled than a professional graphic designer.
8. Graphic designers don’t need a full time job
Many people think that freelance graphic design is so well paid that designers don’t actually need a full time job. In reality, graphic designers are managing multiple part time projects while working full time. Not only that – many graphic designers need a non-graphic design job to balance their finances.
9. Graphic designers can only use a Mac
Image by markus spiske licensed under CC BY – 2.0
Surprise, surprise – you CAN do graphic design on almost any modern laptop, tablet or computer. Most designers prefer the performance and reliability of Macs and the operating system they run, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t do design on any other computer. For many graphic designers, a Mac is only a dream in the distant future.
10. Graphic designers are IT people (they can fix any IT problem!)
When it comes to IT skills, graphic designers wont necessarily know anymore than any other person about solving computer problems. Designers are capable of using multiple software packages as part of their work, but if they don’t have a general interest in the IT industry, it’s highly unlikely that they will be able to help you fix your PC.
11. Graphic designers can read minds
This is another well spread misconception about graphic designers. They are normal people just like you, and they can’t read your mind. If you want a change to be done on your project – tell them. If you don’t like the designer’s ideas – tell them. There’s nothing easier than communicating with a graphic designer – you just have to put your ideas and concepts in writing or present them verbally.
12. Graphic design is easy
Graphic design is far from easy. It requires a lot of talent, dedication, hard work, a lot of inspiration and the ability to work under pressure. Usually, graphic designers should be able to work on their own, but be good team players, propose ideas but accept other people’s suggestions, produce quality material in a quick and efficient matter… Do you think that all these things are easy?
13. Graphic designers have the final word on the projects they are working on
More often than expected, graphic designer don’t have the last word when it comes to the final version of the projects they are working on. Why is that? Because there’s always somebody who knows better than them. (See point 7)
14. Graphic designers don’t need formal education
Image by gadgetdude licensed under CC BY – 2.0
Obtaining a degree in a subject such as graphic design doesn’t mean that you suddenly become a professional graphic designer. It takes much more than that. However, graphic design courses, such as the one offered by the Interactive Design Institute in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire, will arm you with expert knowledge of the modern graphic design industry and prepare you for a rewarding career. You can only benefit from such opportunity!
There you have it – 14 of the most popular myths about graphic designers. Have we missed something? Do you disagree with us? Let us know in the comments below!