Designer doomsday isn’t as close as you might think

David Dinh
Mar 11, 2024

The end is near. Soon, all designers will be out of work to be replaced by AI. Creatives will be replaced by anyone with a big idea and a generative AI tool. Close up shop and change your major; it’s coming.

A little dramatic, but is there validity in worrying about a career in design? With AI tools building momentum, the changing landscape for brands, and being in a highly competitive industry, it’s going to be a hard road ahead for creatives that aren’t ready for change.

Embracing AI like a family member you don’t like

I can’t be the only one sick of answering the question of whether or not I’m afraid of AI taking my job. The answer is always no, and the person asking always seems a little out of touch with what designers actually do. Like any other tool, AI can get the job done, but done and done right are two different things.

Generative AI is only as valuable as the ideas that you feed into it. The true value designers add is through clear communication while setting realistic expectations. With AI becoming more common, we’re bound to see more mishaps like the Willy Wonka event, where attendees are met with disappointment due to overzealous advertisements. New technologies are something designers have and will always have to face, even when they don’t like them. AI is here to stay, and it would be irresponsible not to embrace it.

The death of corporate brands

For many designers, working on a big-name brand would be a dream. Seeing your work in the real world is one of the joys that the design industry provides. The downfall of corporate brands comes from a lack of transparency and understanding of their audience. There are only so many rebrands and visual design changes that can be made before people realize that a product itself is overpriced, unnecessary, and, for lack of a better analogy, a turd rolled in glitter.

Shifting from delivering visual aesthetics to instead telling authentic, community-building stories is where we see the future of design in corporate settings. The sad truth for some big brands is that there is no story to tell, and trying to cover themselves in glitter just isn’t going to work.

Ease of access and oversaturation

Design feels more commercialized than ever, and with that comes a lower barrier to entry. Creating aesthetically pleasing work has also never been easier. There are so many well-designed mockups and website templates now that the idea of spending time creating or learning the skills to make your own just isn’t worth it. Especially when services like Readymag exist. Where was this when I graduated???

Design being a sought-after career makes it that much harder to break into it. With hundreds of new graduates every year fighting over not enough jobs, being part of those trying to break in will likely feel like living in a doomsday scenario. As it becomes harder to land work as a designer, the solution may be changing career paths, but for those driven to stay in the industry, expect to constantly be acquiring new skills to set yourself apart. There’s always going to be value in having technical skills.


The concerns around AI, brand dynamics, and oversaturation feel ominous, but are they doomsday-worthy? As technology and the world change, designers will have to adjust and work to redefine our roles. The industry is changing, and ensuring that you’re ready to embrace whatever comes your way will allow you to grow alongside whatever the design industry becomes. Whether or not you like what it becomes will be up to you.

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