So, how do we convince all those small and medium-sized enterprises on the high streets, backstreets and industrial estates that design really does make a difference? These companies are either not using designers because they don’t know how to find one they can trust and no-one else can recommend one, or they simply don’t want to spend any money – never mind about cost-effectiveness.
The senior designers that started this ball rolling are still around and working and every year a new batch of fully qualified, capable creatives joins a market that just doesn’t seem to be getting bigger. It’s a good job that creativity is its own reward.
If you want to see how it’s done, look at how we are being manipulated by Apple Computer. Did the last expensive upgrade to a Power
Mac and related hardware/software enable me to produce my work faster? Not really. Did it open up new markets? No. I benefited because I didn’t become obsolete.
This time round surely we’re wiser and not so easily startled. The software boys have even got in on the act, as their latest upgrades will only work on the new system. Is the reality that most of us have been upgrading for years, but we either don’t actually use the full upgrade or the promise was mis-sold? Are we to be treated like placid monkeys, learning the same tricks but with different short cuts, formats and systems? How irritating and time-consuming.
That isn’t my idea of progress, especially when I think of what could have been. Do you think we will be heard if we hold our nerve, draw the line and stay put?