10 ‘Evil’ Myths of Graphic Design – A Fool’s Paradise!

Being in graphic designing for past several years, I have learnt my lessons….both good and bad. I hate to be the bearer of the bad part but today I aim to share the dark side of graphic designing with my readers.To my surprise, I was shocked at hearing this perception about graphic designing. Is graphic designing really just art done on computer? Well of course not. This is one of the many design myths circulating the graphic design industry for decades. Being in graphic designing for past several years, I have learnt good enough things about this field….both good and bad. I hate to be the bearer of bad things but today I aim to dicuss the dark side of graphic design. I think it’s hightime you step out your fools’ paradise.


1. All Graphic Designers are Rich and Famous:

It is a common perception that one makes big money in the field of graphic designing. Although I’m truly flattered that graphic designing is considered as an elite field, but this myth is not true for all graphic designers. Moreover, the newbie designers also misconstrue that going into graphic designing will reap big bucks and fame. Probably derived from the lifestyle of fashion designers, this myth does not hold true for all graphic designers.

2. Graphic Designing is Child’s Play:

This is perhaps one of the most evil and damaging myth about graphic design. There is a general graphic designing misconception that it is all about Adobe Photoshop. People think that even a kid who knows his way around Photoshop can do graphic designing. With all due respect, if that was the case, kids playing with toy cars should be racing in the circuit alongside Michael Schumacher. My point here is that, graphic designing is not child’s play and involves extensive experience and thorough research.

3. Creativity is Innate, it cannot be attained:

Graphic design is not something that pops out of thin air. Similarly, creativity is also a concept based on experience, knowledge and dedication. Nobody is born with a bundle of creative skills in hand. With exception of a few special cases, every person is born with a clean slate and with equal capabilities. It is the environment that shapes and moulds you into who you are. Creativity requires motivation and dedication which is possible only if you utilize your opportunities and environment correctly.

4. Graphic Designing is done 100% on computer:

“Ok, so I have to design a brand identity, let me start my computer and I’ll begin working.” This is another deadly fallacy that surrounds the graphic design world. Graphic designing is not purely done on the computer. If you rely on the PC, your creativity and thinking skills are constrained. Every Graphic design project starts with a manual sketch and brainstorming session done on paper. When the initial concept is ready, then it goes to the computer.

5. You Require a Degree to become a Graphic Designer:

“I’m sorry you don’t know how to design because you don’t have a degree…” it’s a sorry state to see that many design firms focus their hiring on the basis of design degrees and not natural talent. It is a fallacy to think that you need a design degree to become a graphic designer. Although I don’t mean to discourage studies and bookish knowledge but graphic designing depends more on the natural talent that a person has. Knowledge is about more tacit than explicit.

6. Graphic Designers Will Know Everything:

This myth has spawned from the client side of the graphic design relationship. Clients hold a wrong perception that graphic designers know everything and don’t need to be briefed about the design. This is not true…every designer needs a blueprint of the project they are working on. This is why designers obtain a design brief from their clients.

7. Graphic Designers Are Always Right:

Another wicked myth surrounding graphic designers is that they never accept their mistakes and blunders. This is one of the biggest weaknesses of many designers…ego. This false misconception can cause real damage to the reputation of graphic designers. A famous quote by Salvador Dali, says it all:
“Have no fear of perfection, you will never reach it.”

8. There is No Difference between a Logo and a Brand:

This is a misconception that I addressed in one of my last weeks’ post titled “Your brand is not just a logo”. Some clientscome up and say “I want to build a brand for my business…all I need is a logo.” The reality is otherwise…logo design is just a minor portion of the branding process.

9. Graphic Designers Can Repair Computers:

“Hey Buddy, you’re a graphic designer right? Can you fix my computer for me?” I bet this statement would enrage all graphic designers. There is a mass misconception that graphic designers are computer geeks and can fix any computer hardware/software issue. Well folks, the reality is graphic designers are not IT specialists…we may know a few computer related stuff asides graphic design, but that doesn’t make us PC repairman. It would be better if designers are not addressed as IT guys.

10. Simple Designs Cost Less Time and Money:

This is one client myth that graphic designers face every day. People generally underestimate the value of a design project. They base their valuation on the simplicity of the design and not on the creative and analytical element behind its creation. Let me remind these confused people that minimalism is a design trend that calls for reducing the object to its basic features. This does not make it a simple and cheap design. Behind the simplest of designs is a deep and complex concept. It is equally worthy of reimbursement as a complicated design project is.

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