5 Myths about Graphic Design

There are a lot of myths about graphic design. Some are semi-accurate, but others are way off base. I wanted to tackle some of those myths head-on. Bear with me as I mention some things that are a little controversial. I explain myself and if you don’t agree, that’s OK! We’d love to hear your perspective on things in the comments below. So, without further ado, here are 5 major myths when it comes to graphic design.

Graphic Design is Easy

This is a huge myth when it comes to graphic design. Let me clear it up for everyone. Graphic design is NOT easy. There’s a reason people spend 4 years and thousands of dollars on a degree to learn graphic design and the what to do’s and the what not to do’s. If you want to have a great relationship with a graphic designer, whatever you do, DO NOT say what they do is easy. It takes a lot of creative juice to figure out a design, work with clients, learn new programs, stay up to date on the latest designs, continue to learn new updates to programs, and the list goes on and on! It’s crazy, time consuming, always changing but well worth it! If your designer looks like they’re having a rough day, just keep in mind that design is not easy. When a rough project hits make sure your designer is well fed, has water, and goes for occasional walks. Kinda like a dog, but a little different.

Anyone Can Learn Graphic Design

I wish this were true, but it’s not. I would love for all the world to appreciate design and understand what all goes into it, but that’s simply not the case. Graphic design deals directly with technology. As technology is expanding, so is the depth of design. The limits with design are becoming more and more limitless. 4D Animation, 3D Printing, etc. In order to learn graphic design you need to be able to handle technology and expand your knowledge constantly. If you’re anything like my Grandma and hate technology, trust me when I say that graphic design is not for you.

Graphic Design Will Make you Rich

It might. But not for a long time. According to PayScale.com, after graduation entry level designers can make as little as $29,084 per year! That’s not a lot of money. If you stick with graphic design and gain experience, the median salary is $38,618 per year. As you can see, this is no get-rich-quick degree. To be a graphic designer is to love design and the money is an added benefit.  

Customers are Always Right

I’m about to step on a few toes here, but customers are NOT always right, at least in my own experience. They might think they are, but they’re usually not. They are not the expert. YOU are. You know what looks good and what works. Should we always keep our clients in mind? ABSOLUTELY! But, with clients that are a little (or WAY) off base, you can gently steer them towards a path that isn’t so extreme or way into left field. Just be nice and politely say, ‘I think that’s a good idea, but I’ve seen more success with this idea’ or ‘good idea! But what about this’.

Fixing a Design Will be Easy

This is a pet-peeve of mine! When someone says, ‘Oh, can you fix XYZ on this design, I need it in 20 minutes’. NOPE NOPE NOPE. Fixing XY AND Z takes a lot longer to fix than you think it does. Good design takes time. Sure, I could whip out a design that I’m not proud of, but I don’t want to have my name attached to a design that I wouldn’t want to show in my own portfolio. Give designers a little more time to work their magic. It’ll be worth it. Trust me.

There you have it! Some (of the many) design myths that I see quite often. As I mentioned earlier, it’s ok if you don’t agree. I would love to hear your perspective on design myths. Let’s have a chat in the comments below!


Ashlee is an Intermediate Instructional and Graphic Designer on the Learning and Professional Development team and has a background in Graphic Design and Photography. With over eight years of Photography and Graphic Design experience, Ashlee brings a unique talent and perspective to the team. She joined the Learning & Professional Development team in 2014 as a student worker and now works full time as an Instructional & Graphic Designer. She primarily works with Adobe products and is using her knowledge to help develop exciting new trainings. This opportunity allows Ashlee to reach out to the NAU community and create interactive ways students and staff can learn.

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