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Graphic designer reflects on the design industry and how it’s changing with AI use

By Jannah Jumamil on November 13, 2023

Jegi Nero is a graphic designer based in Cebu, Philippines. He has been in the industry as a professional for two years and is currently on the design team for Mactan-Cebu International Airport. Nero shares his journey as a graphic designer and his thoughts on the industry with AI at the forefront of consumer use.

Q: Out of all art forms, why is graphic design for you?

A: I am very fond of digital art and computer graphics. It then gradually progressed to logo designs, brand identity and the like. Through graphic design, I found my specialty and style that I love and cherish and thoroughly practiced, which is how I got into this profession.

Q: What’s the most challenging thing about graphic design now that you’ve been doing it for two years as a professional?

A: What’s challenging for me as a full-time graphic designer is adapting to different graphic styles depending on the client’s specified needs. I have to really adapt to these certain kinds of graphic styles just to cater to their specific brief and because of that, I tend to lose sight of my art style in the process.

Q: What are the most common misconceptions people have about graphic design that you’d like to debunk?

A: The most common misconception is that they say it’s not a real job. It is a real job and you can make money out of the graphic design industry, just as long the client pays well. And the other thing is that most people say it’s just drawing in your sketchbook or clicking with your mouse but it entails a thorough creative process to make a certain design work its purpose in society.

Q: How has graphic design changed over the years from your perspective?

A: Over the years, it has now been slowly yet surely adapted by communities and areas in which art and design are not inherently accepted or thoroughly practiced by certain individuals. It is becoming more evident, especially that there are more conferences, conventions and events tackling the industry as a whole.

Q: AI is a growing industry. How do you think AI can affect designs and/or designers?

A: Definitely, AI has its pros and cons over the years. It is a growing industry. It has definitely affected the integrity and value of the designer’s authentic works because AI pieces are more on the side of efficiency and complacency, making them more acceptable and accessible to not only businesses but also to the public.

Q: Do you think there is a lot of risk to AI use, especially in the industry you’re in? And what kind of risks would these be?

A: Yes, and these risks are now slowly evident in our modern times. One is that it is starting to replace the jobs of designers just because they are cheaper instead of hiring a full workforce of artists. Another risk is that there are now also numerous cases of AI stealing works from actual living artists and imitating these works meshing them together into its AI piece.

Q: What do you think the graphic design industry is going to be like ten years from now?

A: It would be hard to say but more likely ten years from now, AI may take over the graphic design industry if it’s not dealt with properly and legally now that we are facing these kinds of risks and problems. But I’m also hopeful, really hopeful, that ten years from now, the industry will be blooming and creating more with fresh designers and works that are authentic and true from the heart of these artists.

Nero has expressed that some workplaces are turning to AI, such as ChatGPT, to help with copywriting due to its efficiency. His management is also considering the use of AI to assist in graphic design.

Although it’s too early to say how much AI will change the future of the design industry, Nero hopes the current community of artists will thrive, create unique pieces and reach high levels of excellence.



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