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Monday, February 28, 2011

Are graphic designers an endangered species?

I am writing this blog for 2 main reasons.  #1 is due to the fact that I run a startup mobile app and web based software company.  #2 is because I recently advised a cousin of mine to go into graphic design and web page design.
Let me start off with my cousin.  She is currently studying Sociology and hates it.  She realizes that getting a degree is important, and that just because she studies sociology, does not mean she is stuck being a sociologist.  The thing with her is that she is very good with computers, she is very artistic and very creative.  I also figured if my company Ozipherus Health Technologies ever gets big enough, I would love to employ her.  I figured based on her knowledge and personality, graphic & web design is right up her alley.
I was speaking to a friend of mine on twitter the other day and I admitted that for my 1st app I employed a company in India since their quote was THOUSANDS of dollars cheaper, and being limited in financial backing, we need to be very cost conscious. 
I don't want to have every project "made in India".  I want to employ local talent and local companies.  I want to help young designers and developers get a feel for the "game" and grow with my company.  Outsourcing to India was a one shot deal, and it is not that their work isn't good, web coding is web coding, it was simply a budgetary decision.
I saw the clothing industry all but die a slow and painful death when import fees from China were lifted.  I saw technicians lose jobs as mechanical and electronic goods were being made in the far east.  Watch makers are hard to come by now that China, Thailand, Japan and the Philippines all make quality watches.
Mobile apps and website development are huge businesses.  They employ thousands, and online is not going away.  Mobile apps may be a trend, but web applications, website development and design and e-commerce development are not going anywhere... if anything, they are getting to be bigger industries.
I wonder though, will cheaper labor in India lead to lost jobs for graphic designers and web developers here in North America?  What other countries will it affect?
There are thousands of graphic artists out and about.  Some freelance and others work for large companies.  The truth is, a creative talented mind is a valuable asset, but with school costs going up and living costs going up, can North American graphic artists compete in a global market place?
I will do my part by trying to employ local talent, but I am just 1 company...

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