Digital Skills Academy
Why do graphic designers need to upskill to digital design in 2016?

Why do graphic designers need to upskill to digital design in 2016?

Design is an exciting, ever evolving space. We spoke to top Irish graphic and digital designer, Steve McDevitt, about the importance of being digitally-educated and up-to-date. By day, Steve works on the RTE graphic design team working on numerous well known TV shows. As well as that, he produces music videos for Irish bands including Le Galaxie  (among others) and also builds light installations for festivals and events including Body and Soul, Web Summit, Electric Picnic and many more. Find more of his work here.

'Echoes' getting all light up for @BodyandSoulIrl with @StephenKearns

Steve, tell us what your thoughts on the importance of being digitally relevant?

An increasing amount of life is being spent in the digital world and with it goes business, money and jobs. The principles learnt with graphic design are applicable to many other design disciplines and its pretty fluid to be able to change into one of these emerging areas by learning some new skills. The amount of screens and devices that we interact with is only going to increase and these all need to be designed. It’s a brave new world out there and there’s a whole new range of jobs that need those design skills - Digital Design, UX, UI, Interactive and there’s more on the way.

What benefits do you think there are to improving your digital design skills?

Personally I think there’s a few other benefits to upskilling which are:

Feed your head

The more influences you can be open to, the bigger the possibilities your designs will have. Your perspective on how you mash them together is the interesting part.

Beautiful finish to another great weekend @weloveoffset - @SebLester & his amazing #calligraghy. thanks to the team pic.twitter.com/Kl2GUA1Glu

— Steve MacDevitt (@SteveMacDevitt) April 10, 2016

Get uncomfortable

Doing the routine is easy, avoid getting bored. Find something new that interests you and wake up your brain. Explore & get lost, open up new doors and see new possibilities.

Scare the shit out of yourself!

So it’s important to challenge yourself?

Yes! Putting yourself in new territory will push you and stress you. It’ll force you to learn things and there’s a vast knowledge base at your fingertips to teach you. The internet has made it much simpler to be able learn with huge communities out there, chances are pretty high someone else has posted your newbie question.

What about the coding side of things?

Yes, it will help it all to make more sense. When I learnt my first bit of code I hated it, it was alien to me and a completely different way for my head to have to work. But it made it so much easier talking to programmers and engineers and put them at ease talking to me. Seeing things from another’s point of view makes it much easier to communicate your ideas and figure out their problems and concerns. You don’t have to be the expert but being able to talk the language helps.

video of the light fantastic for the main stage entrance for @WebSummitHQhttps://t.co/mTCeQeVCIJ #light #madmapper pic.twitter.com/OjBO6K3W8b

— Steve MacDevitt (@SteveMacDevitt) April 8, 2016

Any final tips?

Sure, from a personal point of view - keep it interesting. Creatively, I get bored doing the same thing all the time. I'm currently learning Processing, a programming language created with the arts in mind. It's tough and it's hard for someone whose brain works in a very visual way but the possibilities it's opening up would be unachievable without it, and it gets me excited to see what could be produced with it.

Find out more about our degrees and short courses:

BSc Degree in Digital Technology and Design

BSc (Honours) Degree in Digital Technology, Design and Innovation

Short Courses in Digital Skills