My four-year-old daughter called me over to where she was drawing in her colouring pad. “Can you copy that picture of Mickey Mouse for me, daddy?”, she asked. I began to draw, with the self-satisfied confidence of someone who once underwent four years of art school training.
I handed her back the colouring book; there was a pause. “That’s not very good, daddy”, she said, reproachfully.
She was right – it wasn’t.
Somewhere down the line I seem to have lost my hand drawing skills.
The reason, of course, is the complete reliance I now have on the computer; I’m even writing these words on one, instead of scribbling them in a notepad as I once would have.
I’m old enough to remember the days of paste-up, marker visuals and hand-rendered text; a client visual for a simple poster could take a full day’s work to produce. Now we have InDesign, Illustrator and online photo-libraries, and the same job is ready in a fraction of the time; no more painstaking cutting-out of window-mounts, just dash out an email and attach the slickly-finished PDF. Has something of the craft element of the design process been lost, I wonder? Is there a danger that the technology that has transformed the design industry may actually be stifling individual expressiveness and producing an entirely unintended homogeneity?
Glenn Tutssel, former chairman of Brand Union, says: “The Apple Mac… has made design a commodity if driven by the wrong hands. In the right hands it can achieve greatness quicker. But never underestimate the power of a drawing. I show my clients drawings where I have concentrated on solving the problem with ideas, not by superficial slick Mac printouts.”
Perhaps I need to enrol in some life-drawing classes, and rekindle the love of drawing that got me to art school in the first place. I think I’ve invested quite enough time on the Mac – it’s that other Mouse I need to master now…
See the full Designweek article on Glenn Tutssel below: