The advent of technology has changed a lot of things, including our way of life. It has impacted and still is impacting, various industries, such as the graphic design and creative freelancing industry. Technology has completely revolutionized how a graphic designer works, impacting his career in one way or another. For instance, the creation of digital technologies such as the computer and the internet has changed how designers create and market their work.
Now, more innovative technologies have come into play beyond the mere creation of computers and the internet. The existence of digital freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, for instance, has made freelancer-client connections a lot easier.
Likewise, emerging technologies like blockchain and automation open new opportunities for creative freelancers and their clients. The impact of technology in the design industry is way beyond creative freelancers setting up a laptop in a coffee shop or traveling the world.
When we say the impact of technology on the design industry, understand that we’re talking about both opportunities and challenges. Therefore, in this article, we will take a deep dive into the lives of designers and creative freelancers all over the world.
We’ll consider how technology has impacted the industry and how designers currently benefit from it. We’ll also explore their challenges and what the future holds for creative design freelancers. This is a good dissertation topic for college or postgraduate students; you can visit mypaperwriter.com if you need assistance spinning the write-up.
The Creative Design Industry: Who Is a Creative Designer?
A creative designer is one with skills used to advertise a company and its services or products. The creative design industry is vast and features a variety of positions, including graphic designer, multimedia artist, industrial engineer, photographer, and architectural designer.
These are the people responsible for shaping the visual aspect of books, websites, magazines, product packaging, and exhibitions. The term “creative designer” is broad and covers a band of professionals across different industries, such as advertising, publishing, and broadcasting.
Creative designers are an essential part of a company; they help it build its brand identity. They also work in marketing, creating various materials to promote the company and its services. First, they design the artwork with digital illustration software and paper sketches; then, they create a rough layout and prototype. If the prototype is approved, they create the final product, which the world sees.
The responsibilities of a creative designer are many, including:
- Creating general project design concepts, identifying likely issues, and suggesting solutions;
- Developing prototypes that give the public a good idea of the final product while suggesting changes, if any;
- Coordinating with different departments for the final production of the prototype.
The Different Fields of the Creative Design Industry
The creative design industry spans different fields, such as:
- Industrial design: designing products and services for mass use;
- Architectural design: creating living spaces using specific software programs;
- Photography: the art of capturing light in diverse ways with a camera;
- Fashion and apparel design: designing clothes, accessories, and other fashion items heavily influenced by culture and trends for customers;
- Product design: creating products aimed at solving or addressing customers’ problems and needs;
- Graphic design: using visual images to convey messages;
- Interior design: enhancing a building’s appearance to make it more aesthetically pleasing;
- Film and video design: cover different roles, including production designer, cinematographer, and videographer, all concerned with the creation of films and videos;
The Creative Freelancing Industry: Who is a Creative Freelancer?
A creative freelancer is anyone not conventionally employed and earns in cash or kind for their creative service. They are not “conventionally employed”; they only work on contracts and different projects. You don’t need a certificate to be a creative freelancer, as contractors don’t care about what’s on paper. You just have to be good at what you do, be driven, and be willing to self-learn many skills and work.
The Relationship between Design and Technology
The relationship between technology and design is yet to be fully explored. Technology use has impacted design significantly, which has been critical in shaping the design industry in general. For example, designing software programs, the internet, printer, and others have helped improve designers’ capabilities, making them more effective.
Also, this digital revolution has blown up the technology’s impact on design. Designers can now create elements and bend in space while combining imagery into complex melodies. If we will create functional and visually appealing modern-day design solutions, we must take the relationship between design and tech as critical. Where technology determines the solutions, the design conveys the meaning; creating meaningful and effective designs is possible if technology and design are combined.
How Technology is Impacting the Design and Creative Freelancing Industry
Design has become a global industry driven by an international pool of talent seeking creative and career freedom. Thanks to technology, the industry is blowing up even more differently. Below are several aspects where technology is impacting the industry of design and creative freelancing:
AIs for Graphic Designers
Graphic designers now have a world of opportunities to work in different industries. Thanks to the advancement of AI, they can use artificial intelligence to plan and collaborate their strategies to meet workplace demands. AI will undoubtedly replace some of the roles played by designers, but not all, helping them create more innovative and appealing designs. Graphic designers can use artificial intelligence to showcase creativity and create attention-captivating, interestingly stunning visuals.
One impact of AI in design is through NLG (natural language generation), which involves generating human-like language from data using algorithms. NLG has been used in various fields and can be used to create product descriptions and entire blog articles. There are concerns that AI will replace human content creators, but experts agree that it cannot replace creativity, engagement, and compelling content. Rather than replace, AI will augment human designers’ work, helping them be more productive, effective, and efficient.
Online Platforms for Creative Freelancers
The freelancing industry has witnessed a significant transformation thanks to digital platforms in recent years. These platforms provide a workspace for freelancers to connect with potential clients worldwide. Once connected, they can offer their services and collaborate on projects. The ease of use, convenience, and wide range of services offered by these platforms has made them a popular choice for freelancers and clients.
These digital freelancing platforms allow creative freelancers to showcase their skills to a global audience. They also offer communication, project management, and payment processing tools that streamline things for freelancers and their clients. Furthermore, the advent of online platforms has brought about new business models where clients can regularly subscribe to the freelancer’s services. As a result, freelancers find it easier to secure regular work and build a sustainable career for themselves.
AR & VR
It is not easy to convince a client to buy into a concept with only visuals and rendering. People often look through different lenses, meaning they will unlikely share the same vision. Technology has made the industry take a giant leap in the form of augmented and virtual reality. It allows a greater design depth, enabling users to immerse themselves and visualize concepts much better and more satisfactorily.
Augmented reality offers a better context within a real-world setting, while virtual reality offers a more immersive experience. Also, this technology allows designers and their clients to pinpoint where and what exactly they changed in a design. In addition to adding greater detail and realism to the design, this gives the designer and end consumer much control.
Blockchain Technology in Creative Freelancing
We already know that blockchain technology’s potential uses extend far beyond the finance industry. Creative freelancers can take advantage of this technology to improve how they interact with and get paid by their clients. Payment processing is one of the most significant aspects where blockchain comes into play. The technology can be used to create smart contracts containing the designer’s and client’s agreement terms.
The contract terms between freelance designer and client can be programmed into the blockchain, and payment is automatically released once work is completed and approved. Essentially, blockchain technology offers a more transparent, secure, and efficient payment system, thus bolstering trust between the parties involved. Furthermore, blockchain can store and verify content authenticity in creating freelancing, ensuring freelancers are correctly credited and compensated for their work.
The industry can also use blockchain to create decentralized marketplaces where creatives can showcase their skills and clients can connect with the right freelancer. Freelancers will compete on a level playing field in a transparent and fair system and receive fair compensation for their work.
More Interest in Graphic Design Investment
Graphic design has gone beyond solely focusing on a product’s obvious graphic elements like packaging and marketing. Now, thanks to technology, brands have more online exposure, and businesses can interact better with their customers.
It is now very possible to digitally analyze the type of graphics and content getting more media attention and converting visitors to customers. Companies are investing so much in content creation for customer analytics, communication, and real-time feedback.
With increasing visual power, design is inspiring companies to combine profitable tools for the office. For example, Peerhatch uses graphic designs to create customizable wall surfaces that workspaces can customize to fit their spaces. As a result, they create stunning visuals for companies and work areas, giving employees a collaborative environment that welcomes all ideas.
Content Democratization and Better Access to Clients
Before technology, few people could access platforms, equipment, and networks to create and distribute quality content. Now, thanks to the rise of digital platforms and tools, anyone with a computer and the internet can create and share content.
Content has been democratized mostly because digital marketplaces and job platforms connect freelancers and clients worldwide. The platforms provide a level playing field for freelancers, allowing them to compete for job opportunities based on talent and expertise.
Also, the development of new software and tools has driven the democratization of content creation. Anyone can now create high-quality content without specialized training or expensive equipment.
A good example is Canva, where even someone with zero design experience can create professional-looking visual content. This democratization also gives freelancers better access to clients, opening up new opportunities regardless of background or location.
Freelancers’ Pricing and Value
Technology has impacted the way the pricing and value of creative freelancers are determined. Before now, pricing was primarily determined by industry standards and through freelancer-client negotiation. However, due to the rise of technology, pricing is much more transparent and data-driven, and the value of freelance designers is more important.
For example, technology has changed how online marketplaces and job platforms are used. These platforms provide data on average rates and pricing guidelines that help freelancers and clients decide wisely on pricing. As a result, the playing field has been leveled, ensuring that freelancers are being paid fairly for their service.
Likewise, technology has brought about data analytics and AI, tools that help clients analyze data on content performance. They also help them make more informed decisions about pricing using the value the content provides as a basis. In other words, the value of freelance designers is based on their ability to produce high-quality designs that meet the client’s needs.
Elimination of Traditional Entry Barriers to the Industry by Technology
The design and creative freelancing industry has experienced barriers to entry that have prevented upcoming freelancers from getting started. Thanks to technology, however, new opportunities have been created, and these opportunities will likely eliminate many of these barriers.
For example, the need for specialized knowledge and skills has been a significant barrier in the industry. Freelancers had to have a certain skill set and experience level to stand a chance of competing in the industry. Now, however, with the rise of digital learning platforms and educational resources, gaining new skills has become easier than ever. Within a few days or weeks, newbies can learn new skills and gain enough knowledge to succeed as creative freelancers.
Another barrier is that designers and creative freelancers often need professional connections and networks to find work. Without a network of clients and contacts, it was hard to find work, much less succeed in the industry. Digital job platforms have made it easier for freelancers to find clients and build professional connections from scratch.
Furthermore, freelancers can work and collaborate with clients from anywhere in the world, thus opening up new markets for freelancers previously limited by location. Essentially, there is a significant potential for technology to eliminate the traditional barriers to entering the industry of creative freelancing.
If you have a passion for content creation, you only need to get the right skills, knowledge, and tools. With those, you can enter the industry and start building a hopefully successful career for yourself.
Benefits and Challenges of Technology for Designers and Creative Freelancers
Technology is great, no doubt, but it also comes with challenges that freelance designers are not saved from. Let’s consider some of the benefits and challenges freelance designers face thanks to technology.
The Digital Nomad Lifestyle
Technology has expanded the access designers, and creative freelancers have to international markets and clientele drastically. Freelance designers can work with different industries across different brands and businesses of all sizes.
Being able to freelance virtually has changed where designers choose to work, and many are rapidly embracing this digital nomad lifestyle. Thanks to technology, millennials have made self-employment the new normal, with most designers leaving their jobs after two years.
This shift has made way for more viable opportunities, making freelancing more rampant and less risky. Internet technology plus freelancing has allowed designers to work without attaching themselves to a physical place. More than 80% of creative freelancers work with clients outside their time zone; they can meet them anywhere with Wi-Fi.
The best part about this remote work lifestyle is its flexibility and freedom, which allows designers to make more money than they would elsewhere. Apart from that, they can take vacations at least two times a year without worrying about a furious boss back home.
Nevertheless, freelancers have also learned to understand that work-life balance is essential even when you work remotely. Unlike when you’re tied to a physical place with an actual boss, a freelancer is on their own. They are responsible for finding clients, managing projects, and submitting completed tasks. Freelancing is a skill on its own as it has given designers the ability to self-manage; freelancing requires full-time attention. The flexibility, nonetheless, many freelance designers find it a significant challenge to separate work and life.
The Challenges of Technology – the Downside to Being Your Boss
Designers love the lone lifestyle that leaves them untethered to agencies, companies, schedules, expectations, and lifestyles. They control every aspect of their work process, from finding clients to finishing projects. As such, they are at liberty to select what type of client they want to work with and the work they’d like to work on. This freedom undoubtedly is a great way to manage workload, but it also comes with a load of challenges.
First, freelancing tends to be project-based, leaving freelancers with too many projects and the risk of not finding viable projects. Also, as more designers become freelancers, competition sets in, leading to rules about how and when designers want to get paid. For this reason, at least 30% of designers say they don’t believe they’re being paid what they’re worth. Likewise, 26% struggle to collect a payment, while 24% find it difficult to negotiate rates.
Technology has also increased the competition among freelancers as online platforms have given clients access to a broader pool of freelancers worldwide. While this is a good thing for clients, it puts pressure on pricing and makes it hard for freelancers to pursue higher rates.
Nevertheless, talented, skilled designers who produce high-quality designs will discover new opportunities and markets. Technology is still evolving, and there’s a good chance that its impact on pricing will also continue to evolve.
How Freelance Designers Can Benefit the Most from Technology
Graphic design is undoubtedly one of the most demanding professions; it necessitates technological know-how and creative flair. As a freelance designer, you can obtain the right technology with various tools, such as the Adobe Creative Suite. You are expected to employ software and other tools like cameras, computers, and tablets to produce high-quality, compelling content.
To be a successful graphic designer, you need to possess soft and technical skills. For instance, a graphic designer must understand graphic design principles, typography, and color theory. At the same time, they must be creative and possess excellent communication skills.
New technologies and trends will continue to emerge, so a creative freelancer needs to continue learning. With the right technical abilities and creativity, you can start creating stunning digital artwork the world will remember for years.
Conclusion: What Does the Future Hold for Freelancing in the Design Industry?
The future of freelance design is one to look forward to. While most designers say they are okay with their current professional situation, many agree that things must improve.
Freedom is the driving force for freelancing, but the industry is changing, and clients and designers are still trying to find their place. Nevertheless, the workforce of talented, creative freelancers worldwide is committed to learning and adapting to likely challenges.
Shortly, designers will become better equipped to control the future of freelancing with their global awareness and digital savvy. They are flexible and creative professionals, and these skills will empower them as the unpredictable design industry evolves.
The design industry is rapidly evolving and needs technology to help creatives streamline complex tasks and improve client communication. As technology advances, we should expect more innovation in the design and creative freelancing industry.
Designers are using technological advances to develop and incorporate new styles into their designs. With the right technology and essential skills, you can build a brand and stand out from the competition.