There’s a real sense of optimism in the air amongst today’s designers. Finally, it seems we have shaken off our fear of being overlooked in favour of advancing technology and have learnt to embrace and harness the exciting opportunities that tech presents.
We questioned over 400 designers and creatives, with the full scope of roles well represented from entry level positions through to those right at the top of their game. The stand out finding was that over half (53%) were genuinely excited about the future and a further 19% felt confident – that’s nearly three-quarters of us feeling optimistic about what lies ahead. This compares with just 21% who feel worried.
Amidst all the doom and gloom, and following what was for many a tough year in 2017, it was refreshing and uplifting to see people’s enthusiasm for the future.
We also questioned people about what is set to impact our industry most in the coming year. Digital came up as the word most associated with where design is heading and we also found that the most likely trend to impact the industry was advances in technology. On the face of it, this is hardly surprising, but when you couple this with the high levels of positivity about the future it does raise a few eyebrows.
In the past, designers have always feared the future. We have worried about how advances in digital and technology would somehow replace the skills and craft of what we do – a cheaper, faster, less temperamental option than a truly gifted creative.
But this seems to have finally changed. We have left this behind us and realised that the marriage between tech and design is not a one-sided, abusive relationship. It is in fact a beautifully symbiotic one. We not only need each other we make each other better.
Our latest font is a case in point. FS Industrie is a new adaptive type system designed with a total of 70 different variants. It will allow brands to vary their font on the fly in line with AI-powered personalised messages. The tech to do this however is still in its infancy, but as designers we are pushing developers to come up with a solution that will give brands the tools they need to not only tailor what they’re saying to people, but to also make it look great too.
Designers today are quickly learning how to take the latest tech to the limits which in turn pushes developers to go further. New tech and great design have now learnt how together they can open up a world of new creative opportunities.
What’s more, tech and design have a shared commonality - they will always need human input. Neither work to their best without great people, and a great creative mind. Tech needs creativity to think beyond what is currently possible and design needs creativity to produce something that is truly magical – not just run of the mill. That is why we must stick together, work together and grow together. It feels that we as an industry have now not just realised this, but are excited about what this means for our future. And I couldn’t agree more.