Michael Bierut – Design by Hand

Posted by Alex

A great article by Michael Bierut about how things have changed in the world of design since the incorporation of the computer. An excerpt:

Design work that would have taken me a week in 1980 can now be done on a personal computer in less than an hour. Cutting and pasting, when needed, is done in the basement, often by interns. I get the impression that this kind of work, to which I once applied myself with the pride of a master chef, is now viewed as a chore like dishwashing. (The New York Times)

image via threedots

8 Comments Leave A Comment


Serviceburo says:

February 9, 2009 at 1:35 pm

I think it’s truly a sad statement about the design work that we now consider physical layout and paste-up work to be “busywork” that gets shipped off to the intern. When I get off the computer and actually work with my hands and tools, I have a much greater sense of satisfaction and connection to the finished product. It’s really sad that most designers I know would be lost if you gave them an assignment and a set of drafting tools.


alex says:

February 9, 2009 at 1:49 pm

I agree. At school we’ve just been given an assignment along these lines, and I felt completely helpless without my computer. I felt like I was on stage with a left handed guitar. It was really depressing to basically get sent back to square one. No idea what to do at first! I guess I got into design well after the computer became the dominant tool, so I never really had much experience working with my hands. It’s been great so far but it sure took some getting used to.


Clint says:

February 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm

It really makes you wonder how much of us would actually be doing our respective disciplines: Video, Design, Photography had computers not come along and made everything much more accessible and much less of a time commitment.

I think i’d be way too ADD to actually “photo-shop” my negatives.


NAVIS says:

February 9, 2009 at 6:47 pm

And I suppose in another 60 years or so people will be saying, “Oh man, I remember the simple days of InDesign, Quark Express, php, mysql, css, xml, Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash, Dreamweaver, javascript, Cold Fusion and alcohol.”

Clint makes a good point. I probably wouldn’t be doing photography. I’d probably be doing something bad ass like data entry or retail.