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What’s The Future Of Graphic Design?

For the past decade, freelancing websites like Fiverr and crowdsourcing sites like 99designs have caused massive disruption in the graphic design industry. Some of the changes have been good – it’s easier than ever to find a graphic designer, especially for small businesses, it’s easy to break into the industry, just make an account, and of course Google has made it easier than ever to learn how to design.

With that said, inexpensive freelancers on Fiverr and similar websites have developed a reputation for providing low quality, often stolen and reworked designs.

Then there’s the designer’s perspective, where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to earn a decent wage.  With time, hiring methods and wages should stabilize, but, the role an artist or designer has will be quite different.

When it comes to the future of graphic design, the big thing on everyone’s mind is animation and VR. Print media is on its way out, digital media is rapidly becoming the future of graphic design. For more on that and what else to expect, we asked a group of industry experts…

What’s The Future Of Graphic Design?

Here’s what they had to say…  


Vladimir Gendelman, Founder & CEO of Company Folders, Inc

Vladimir Gendelman, Founder & CEO of Company Folders, Inc

“The future of graphic design is going to be elevated to new heights by being fused with augmented reality and eventually, 3D printing.

Augmented reality and virtual reality experiences allow people to get inside the experience whether it’s for recreational, educational or occupational purposes. Designers will be in charge of creating those worlds for people to join. By the same token, augmented reality will also allow designers to unchain themselves from their desks and design on the go or incorporate more real-world elements.

3D printing will force designers to stay updated on industry trends and move faster. As this technology becomes available to the masses, the need for quality designs will be greater, but people will expect them faster.”


Adam Kleinberg , CEO & Co-founder of Traction

“Graphic design is on a collision course with experience design. Print is already close to dead as a medium of expression, but design has never been more important. In the future, all designers will need to think about context of how their work is experienced by users. It’s the third dimension.”


Pj Richardson, Creative Director & Co-Owner of Laundry

“In 10-15 years, the separation between technologically-driven design and graphic nostalgia will broaden. Books, posters, and signage will still exist with unusual new twists (think signage system on Mars).

Virtual reality will be fully functional via contact lens or brain implants and will require a new type of interactive-meets-motion graphics-meets-filmmaking approach to graphic design.

Economically, the industry will work like YouTube — commoditized, but with standout influencers and specialists who really shine and distinguish themselves around cultural interests of that moment.”

Chelsey Moter, Marketing Coordinator for the Arizona Grand Resort

“Graphic Design is something that’s crucial to all businesses. Not only do you need business cards, flyers and postcards for print but graphic design is also important in the digital world as well. Majority of business owners and marketers know content is king. However, the best kind of content contains far too many words and majority of users will end up walking away before they even finish reading the piece if the article is too long.

A great way to produce content that’s easier for users to understand and faster to comprehend are through images, infographics, memes, quote cards, slideshows, and even videos. As for the future of graphic design, I think artists are going to see an increase in the need for visual content more than traditional elements of graphic design.”


Miguel Lee, Partner/Creative Director of Midnight Sherpa

“Technology will play a bigger role than ever in the way that we communicate through design. We are living through a time where the paradigm shifts so often in the way we approach content creation that the overall effect is now the new norm.

Specialized and highly technical methods of executing work inevitably become simple “buttons,” empowering designers to realize their vision and build richer and more meaningful experiences without technological hindrances. The battlefield for high-end execution will continue to evolve away from a heavy-lifting contest and into a chess game.

This accessibility will also lead to a noisier design landscape, resulting in a higher premium on creating disruptive work to cut through that noise.”


Calvin Carter , Owner, Graphic designer, & Web Development at Logomazing

“Graphic design will be more immersive in 10 years. Paper will be obsolete, so every design will be digital with a website feel. These designs will require layers allowing the user to click deeper into the design, ultimately selling the product without actually making a pitch.

The user will begin looking at weather, a bright sunny day, then virtually pick an outfit for the day only to realize, I don’t have sunglasses! The next graphic displays choices of sunglasses that match the selected outfit and how they look on the user.

Graphic designers will need to create every design in this layered format realizing they can’t say, buy these sunglasses. The future population will be so blind to explicit advertising, they’ll be rendered completely useless.”



Jake Smith , Founder of Productviz

“Graphic design will continue further its dependence on technology to create interesting and compelling narratives and concepts. In the future, as the quality of 3D, augmented reality, and virtual reality continue to progress, designers will have more expressive ways of sharing their vision.

This technology-centered approach will increase designers reliance on computer aided design, pushing graphic design away from traditional tools and more into the virtual world. This shift will be accompanied by more niche professional experts, instead of generalist designers.”

About the author

Nick Hastreiter

I write about the future of business. I approach this by interviewing founders, CEO's, and other game changers to share their vision for the future of their industry.


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  • Howdy! I really get that perspective. It’s gotten so much easier to get into the graphic design world as a freelancer which has also effected those who make a full time wage thanks to all those poor designers who low-ball everything. I do hope that changes soon. As for print media, I still stand firm on it. There’s just some things you can’t do in digital media: Providing billboards, postcards, business cards, all sorts of media that you can feel and put in your hands. Sure, the volume may be less, but that doesn’t make it any less relevant. We still have our outside living to think about.

  • I agree! @Rebecca Tyler High-end digital is also going to mean an increase in pricing. There will be some who will want to do things in a more traditional way depending upon what they need (ex: wedding stationary, notecards, banners, etc).