About Jim MacLeod

Jim MacLeod - After Design

Hi, I’m Jim. I want to help you prepare for the AI train that is headed straight toward your career. 

I started studying graphic design in the mid-’90s. The first year or two we were doing things the “old fashioned way” like laying out type by hand. Later on, we moved to computers as that became more mainstream. I bet there were many analog designers back then who tried to fight the coming of Adobe and Quark (yes, Quark). 

We’re facing the same type of seismic shift in 2023. 

I have many skillsets that are now obsolete. My first job was as a movie theater projectionist. For a short time, I developed photos at a one-hour photo mat. Later on, I was building websites using Flash. New technologies came along and wiped out the need for those skills. 

I was primarily a graphic designer for the first decade or so of my career. That led to web design (what we now call UI and UX design). That led to front-end web development. That led to digital experience. That led to digital marketing. That, combined with my design and experience background, led to branding and storytelling. And my skill toolbox kept expanding from there. 

Throughout the years, I’ve been part of, led, and even built design teams, working with companies from small 5-person startups to large 30,000-employee corporations. As time passed, I knew I had to step out of the design box. I started to see that if I were to stick to design, it might not be the best plan for the long haul. After all, not all companies understand how important design is or are willing to pay for it. So, I shifted gears and started diving into the world of marketing, digital experience, and branding.

Your new competition

Now that designers are competing with nearly free resources like Canva, Midjourney, and other generative AI platforms, companies are going to re-evaluate the money they have dedicated to graphic designers. Even Adobe is offering generative AI capabilities in Photoshop 😬. 

Think of all of the people who tell you how to do your job. Now imagine them with these tools. It’s already happening! The people who don’t respect or appreciate what you do will eventually see you as an unnecessary cost. The layoffs won’t hit every designer, but it will hit many. 

My advice to you: get ahead of it! 

Only you can prepare yourself for the coming changes. Let’s chat so we can see how I can help you. I’ve been through this. 

Personally, it was difficult for me to move away from design. I love design and I love solving problems while telling a story with imagery and type. I still freelance and I started a weekly infographic newsletter so I could challenge myself creatively. But I know I can’t rely on a design salary in the long run. 

I understand how passionate you are about design. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t care and you weren’t worried. 

Things are changing so quickly. It’s a scary time. Let’s chat so you’re able to control your future career path.