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Social Media for Graphic Designers – Constructive or Destructive?
 

With the growing challenges of graphic designing, social media is a becoming a necessity for every graphic designer. Nowadays, every industry is shifting its focus towards social media for its publicity and promotion and the graphic design industry is no exception. But like every other technology that has been invented, social media has its share of boons and banes. Now don’t get me wrong here guys, I am not suggesting that we should not utilize the blessings of social media. What I wish to achieve in my post is to give you a balanced analysis of social media and its impacts on graphic designers.

As I mentioned earlier, every development has its rewards and drawbacks. Innovation can either lead to progression or towards devastation. While social media has numerous benefits for graphic designers, at the same time, overindulgence in social media can prove to be disastrous. Let us take a look at some of the positive and negative aspects of social media for graphic designers.

 
Social Media as a Savior for Graphic Designers:
 

1. Quick And Easy Promotion:

It is a known fact that the fastest way to promote something is through social media. With just a simple tweet on twitter, graphic designers are able to share their graphic design world with the entire community.

 

2. Less Costly – More Effective:

Considering the worst recession that has hit us in decades, the cheapest means of promotion for a graphic designer is social media. While the T.V medium is still considered as mass media, but it can be quite costly for graphic designers to advertise their portfolio through conventional means like the T.V or print media.

 

3. Connecting With The Design Community:

The graphic design community is well known for its resolute unity and unwavering fraternity. Each graphic designer benefits from other graphic designers. Through social media, graphic designers share their views, assist their mates in their design work and provide feedback to each other. Also, being a part of the graphic design community on social media enables word-of-mouth advertising for graphic designers. Sharing each other’s work spreads the word throughout the design world.

 

4. Finding Clients And Opportunities:

Social Networking and blogging services have become a popular resource for graphic designers to find potential clients and business opportunities. Clients also find it easy selecting a graphic designer through social media.

 

5. Create And Build An Identity:

Social Networking provides the ideal identity for a graphic designer to work on. Creating profiles on twitter, Facebook etc gives a unique identity to graphic designers. People get aware of who you are and where they can find you.

 

6. A Platform For Healthy Discussions:

Social Networking services like twitter and Facebook provide a great podium for graphic designers to come and have healthy design related discussions. This increases creativity through sharing of ideas, views and experience.

 
Social Media as a Menace for Graphic Designers:
 

1. Distraction and Diversion:

While social media provides so many benefits for graphic designers, too much involvement leads to waste of graphic designers’ precious time. Sometimes a graphic designer gets trapped in the complex web of social media. One shared link leads a graphic designer to another and then another and so on so forth. Involved in social media, graphic designers often forget their basic work and deviate from their main purpose.

 

2. Creates Imbalance Between Work And Life:

Excessive social media involvement creates an imbalance between a graphic designer’s work life and personal life. Effective social media requires a graphic designer to dedicate considerable amount of time to social networking. This creates priority issues for a graphic designer who has to fulfill personal duties as well.

 

3. Spam And Scam:

Social Media unlike other media is the biggest victim of spamming and scams. Every day we are faced with a constant bombardment of spamming from various scam entities which creates confusion and disorientation in the design field. Graphic designers are sometimes confused for spammers and that dents their reputation.

 

4. Increased Chances Of Plagiarism:

With the advent of social media networking, we have witnessed an increase in design plagiarism cases. Right from the design to the content, material is copied on the blogosphere which is a constants nuisance for authentic graphic designers. This may prove to be fatal for graphic designers when there is little they can do to protect their design work on the web.

 

5. Need for Continuous Updates and Changes:

To remain popular on the social media, graphic designers are required to continuously update their profiles and portfolios. This can be a cumbersome task for someone who spends most of his day on heavy graphic software. Continuous updates on social networking consume time as well as resources of a graphic designer.

 

What is your perspective?

I have tried to present a balanced picture of social media and its impact on graphic designers. But the question still remains… Is social media constructive or destructive?

 

Author Charlie B. Johnson

has written Posts 388 .

  1. iarafath On March 19th, 2010 at 10:37 am
    1

    I agree with some of the good points but I think its mostly destructive.

    Specially a time waster and lots of clone designs all around. Design seem to be now mostly about effects ( lighting, splatters, liquid effects, using the same stocks over and over again) It breaks my heart.

    Rarely now do I see really inspiring designs. While even the most famous designers tend to do the same thing over and over again. While some people may call this style I beg to differ.

    So now a days I am hitting the books instead of looking at different portfolios. More theory, good typography ( again I dont mean type effects) and function. Less “style” and effect please.

  1. Jodie On March 19th, 2010 at 11:43 am
    2

    As with most tasks during the day there has to be a balance. I only devote 15-20 mins in the morning to online social media as I would waste too much precious design time otherwise.
    Online promotion has just rocketed – it’s a necessary evil. I think there will be new job opportunities within companies in the future such as ‘social media executive’ or ‘online marketing manager’ as it is becoming a task that one person could devote themselves too on a daily basis.

  1. Sheena Rai On March 20th, 2010 at 3:23 pm
    3

    Being A Graphic Designer . I totally Belief Social Media is a Savior for graphic designer. Look Every thing has a positive and negative effects on thing but we just cant keep pondering over the negative ones. Look forward for the positive aspects and really this would help us.
    Sheena Rai

  1. 509 Media On March 21st, 2010 at 11:08 am
    4

    Social media can be a resource for learning but at the same time it can cap new people from being creative. I see people everyday shooting down new ideas because it does not follow some rule. Many of the people spouting off these design rules just read it on another forum and feel they need to talk out the side of their neck. Sure there are some rules out there to follow, but there are way too many “experts” out there because of social media.

  1. Carson Samson On March 21st, 2010 at 8:36 pm
    5

    Thanks for this article. I’ve been a graphic designer for over 10 years now. The last 5 of which I’ve been working freelance. In hopes of generating greater awareness, I’ve begun to dig deeper into social media vehicles.

    I really don’t have much of value to add to the conversation, only to say that your balanced perspective is appreciated.

    One point in particular resonates with me. That being of social media being more distraction than resource. It’s a fine line one walks between devoting time and energy into their Social Media Brand and actually serving a client. Which we all know to be the end means. Not so much the service, but the completion of a current job, and the moving on the the next — keeping one’s funnel full so to speak.

    Anyhow, enough rambling. Thanks again. I’ve just stumbled upon this blog, but will certainly be returning to check out future posts.

    Cheers,
    Carson

  1. smart lipo On March 22nd, 2010 at 5:22 am
    6

    Social networking – Having wider social network expands your database of target customers and introduce your business to much larger audience. If you deal with any specialize area of business, in such instances also social networking would prove to be efficient.

  1. Steve Mills On March 22nd, 2010 at 9:54 am
    7

    Social media is a tool to be used to run your business and help it grow. As this post explains, it can create many opportunities if used properly, but if used improperly, it can be detrimental to your business and your brand. As a freelance designer, I understand that I must balance out doing the things to run a business with doing my job. Social media is no different; it requires balance.

  1. Carolyn On March 22nd, 2010 at 9:59 pm
    8

    Social media can definitely be a time waster, but like anything else with an addictive quality, define the time time you will devote to it and stick with that. I have checked my traffic stats to see which of the media is driving most of my readers. . . and it turns out that it’s not the one I spent the most time on! That helped me focus more on what produces results and avoid the “black hole” that my time was going into.

  1. Rory On March 23rd, 2010 at 4:12 am
    9

    Very balanced article. Although I use social media daily for work and have made a lot friends and clients through them, I don’t really enjoy using it… Occasionally I find it fun but more often than not it slows my day down, and puts me off designing. Although the speed which you can promote an event or simply showcase work is amazing.

  1. Dali Burgado On March 23rd, 2010 at 5:05 pm
    10

    Great job at getting the community thinking, Charlie.

    I really resonate with the commenter from Media 509.

    “I see people everyday shooting down new ideas because it does not follow some rule.”

    On the flipside, it can be productive, and constructive, if you find the right community, and stay in the right circles.

    Dali

  1. face lift On March 24th, 2010 at 4:56 am
    11

    According to me Social Media is quite good as well as destructive for Graphic designers.I do agree with your all points regarding it.I believe that social media is fast,easy and convenient way for Graphic designers.

  1. adroid85 On March 25th, 2010 at 6:32 pm
    12

    It seems hard to come across communities now that actually have interesting or relevant content. These social communities look like a revolving door of self promotion. I guess if you are promoting something that is worth looking at, then everyone gains. Still figuring out where I stand on all of this.

  1. r4 kaart On March 26th, 2010 at 2:15 am
    13

    Social media is fast and also convenient, but I cannot get it to generate a lot of traffic / leads. If you don’t use a targeted community the result is minimum

  1. Tami Highbaugh-Abdullah On March 28th, 2010 at 3:06 pm
    14

    I am a graphic designer currently Mastering in Internet Marketing. I believe that Social Medial Marketing is the future for graphic designers who assist their clients with their marketing efforts. As the article stated above, with the current recessive state of the country, Internet Marketing is the cheapest and most effective way of advertising your company. It can also benefit your clients with their marketing efforts.

    As with anything designers can’t get caught up in the personal end of Social Media. It is easy to become unfocused but the benefit of transparency your potential clients are able to see in you as a business owner as well as business is priceless. Most of my clients have come to be because they have seen a design I have done and because they feel comfortable with me either through word of mouth or what they have seen in my interactions on the net.

    Social Media provides the opportunity for Graphic Designers to be recognized outside of their own local communities. I work in Indianapolis, In and due to my social media efforts I have clients as far away as Bermuda. If your clients are using social media platforms to interact with each other it can only benefit you, as a designer, to have a presence on those social media platforms as well.

  1. Gene Pascual On March 29th, 2010 at 4:05 am
    15

    you have very good points on both sides. but I think it’s still constructive rather than destructive. just the same, it is the graphic designers’ job to design mainly for “social” purposes.
    graphic designers AssistMePro.com does it with the help of social media.

  1. Natalie Keshlear On March 29th, 2010 at 5:56 pm
    16

    Constructive. Social media can only help get your name out there.

  1. Crystal On April 2nd, 2010 at 5:31 pm
    17

    This is quite an interesting and balanced approach on pointing out both the positives and negatives to social media! As a fairly new graphic designer, I think keeping up with social media has been helpful for me. I work for a small but growing company, not only as a designer, but in other areas as well. Social media has helped me keep in the loop with what other designers are doing out there, and provides me with great resources on how to expand my role as a designer. Also, as a novice blogger, I am learning to expand my writing and posting techniques which also benefits my contribution to our company blog.

  1. Logo Design Gear On April 5th, 2010 at 9:20 am
    18

    @ Crystal, I totally agree with you. Social media helps us a lot.
    It helps us to expand our areas. Also I think through this we can connect with each other.
    In a short, i love to use social media.

  1. Jae Xavier On April 7th, 2010 at 5:26 pm
    19

    Promote, Promote, Promote. All ya gotta do is just do at least 10 tweets, 10 diggs, 10 comments, 10 of something… everyday or less. Just be consistent, that’s all.

  1. Lou Storiale On May 11th, 2010 at 12:15 am
    20

    Most of the good designers are too busy to update their own portfolio because they are working on others. Freelancers must make it a priority. Nothing like having to say – I’ve done a lot more, but I haven’t posted on the net.

    Regarding branding – you have to do it. Umm, actually, I have to do it. Everything that I have is different – business cards, blog, website, signature in email – but I preach it to my clients all the time. Must do what I say, not what I do… Again, great blog post.

  1. Justin On June 27th, 2010 at 12:21 am
    21

    When it comes to the n00b graphic designers like myself who’ve just started up their own website, I find that social media does more good than harm.

  1. Bren murphy On June 18th, 2011 at 10:14 am
    22

    Social media will need to become more specialised or segmented (in a commercial sense) to really become of value. It’s over-used a marketing channel, which in itself will reduce it’s value as a useful communication tool. Too many people, too many tweets, too much time spent on it without real tangible results….

    As a light-hearted ‘brand awareness’ vehicle, then yes, it might have some value, but as a dedicated marketing channel to drive creative work, less so. I think as it becomes even more popular than it is, it will become even harder to make yourself heard and gain any kind of differentiation.

    I also agree with a comment made here regarding too much emphasis on ‘style’ in design these days and not enough on innovative content. We live in the technological age for sure, but it’s also the age of over-use and mediocrity in design in general.

    Sorry, went off on a soapbox moment there!! Lol

  1. Joyoge Designers Bookmark On June 19th, 2011 at 4:36 pm
    23

    useful article, thanks for the post..

  1. 24

    [...] article Social Media for Graphic Designers – Constructive or Destructive? bullet points six positives and 5 negatives about the way the social media affects graphic [...]


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