There are always pros and cons to a job. There is absolutely no way of pleasing every one. Of course, there are professions that have more pros than cons, and vice versa. This reminds me of Michael Beirut’s essay “Graphic Design and the New Certainties” in Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design. Beirut talks ab0ut Graphic Design’s “pros” in that it can create an identity or present an idea, and it serves the purpose of relaying a message. As an artist, it provides a “medium of self expression (great for designs with something to express, not-so-great for designers with access to a lot of Photoshop filters).” This makes me feel happy and proud to be a part of the design community, until I get to the part where Beirut mentions Michael Braungart, chemist and author of Cradle to Cradle Remaking the Way We Make Things. Braungart declares that “graphic designers are contributing to the destruction of the environment.. he displayed a chart that described the precise amount of toxic elements in a single ink color..analyzed for the harm it could do to our environment.”
I work at a print and mail shop. We go through millions of sheets of stock a year. I, as a graphic design student, go through a couple sheets, but ultimately would like to design for mass production. Artist or Destroyer of the Earth?