With designer/artist Lakshmi Shewale at ‘Read Between the Lines’, her solo exhibition of paintings in Hyderabad

There is a lot of confusion in the market about who is a designer and who is not. There are many people with no design education, formal or informal, who label themselves as designers just because they use the same tools as creative professionals.

This is not a new issue – it is as old as the use of pirated design software in the market. Hobbyists and amateurs want the same respect and recognition as Industry professionals and quite blatantly market themselves as Industry professionals.

Now, it is not about talent or pedigree or pretension but about market confusion. It is becoming difficult for the Industry to understand the value of established designers and distinguish them from talented creators with little or no experience. This has direct impact on the employability and cost/value of professional designers.

Experienced professionals will tell you how often they hear “You are too expensive” or “I can get the same thing done on
the internet for Rs 5000”.

Certifications and degrees are often not enough to create the distinction of being a professional. Saturation of design demand in the Indian market will bring the value of professional design further down. There is a need for an authority such as the India Design Council to step in and create a clear distinction between professional designers and enthusiastic hobbyists.

Sudhir Sharma, Editor-in-Chief

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