“Companies who understand the creative mind have always been rare but, in our 50 years of publishing, it is hard to remember a time when they have been more scarce. Changing technologies and tightening economics are creating dislocations, established brands are disappearing faster than Twinkies, and many companies who once embraced our magnificent market have lost their focus.” – Gordon Kaye, GDUSA Publisher
Every year GDUSA compiles a list of Designer-Friendly Companies and it seems to me that each year the list gets a little shorter. I hail the companies that have continued their commitment to the design industry but as I pore over old issues of GDUSA what sticks with me the most is the number of industries within the design world that have simply disappeared. Photo retouching studios, annual report companies and pre-press production department have all fallen to the wayside.
Let’s not pretend for a second that spec contests are good for designers.
Spec contests have worked out pretty well for transatlantic flight and mapping the human genome, but are more or less a poison for emerging designers. Those businesses who source their design work to internet-based spec contests are promoting a cynical race to the bottom and need to cut it out.
But just as the Bubonic Plague produced some neat triptychs and World War I some readable classic novels, there was once a spec contest that produced an icon of great design, and created the curious case of Gary Anderson. But the takeaway isn’t as simple as it may seem.
We thought long and hard about how best to note our anniversary without making it about us. Out of the process two points emerged. First, this accident of the calendar presents an opportunity to celebrate the past, present and future of the graphic design community. Second, we think the best way to do this is to ask your opinion on some provocative and fun topics because, frankly, you know more than we do and we just like hearing from you. Accordingly, in each print and app edition of GDUSA this year, we will present selected results of a massive poll — being conducted right now — about who you respect and what you admire.