Where Has Graphic Design Gone

It’s been tough to recruit product designers with great visual design and an eye for detail. Did we atomic-design-system and product-manager-skills a generation out of having them?”

  • Justin Stahl, Director of Product Design at Cruise

A lot of younger designers I mentor ask me how I got a job at Airbnb, and Facebook. The answer is repetition repetition repetition. I worked for 15 years in studios all over the world honing my craft and solving as many problems as possible. There are no shortcuts.”

  • Shane Allen, Designer at Instagram

For the past 5 years there’s been an explosion in product design, the grab-bag term for generalists who are typically paired with an engineer and a product manager to solve business problems for tech companies. I feel grateful that I paddled into this wild river of an industry via the quiet, murky creek of graphic design™. Where your work is always a constant disappointment, that like Ira Glass says doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have.” And we collect shiny objects like pigeons, because we know it contains that special thing.

It’s also a reminder to myself to push myself harder. I’m usually never throwing away nearly enough stuff.

June 30, 2021