Design in Ghana; Who Cares?
In some few months, Ghana will be 61. What does this mean for design in Ghana? The truth is that we have no idea. I have met a lot of amazingly talented graphic designers in Ghana; most with not less than 7 years experience in the field. As a matter of fact there are ones with about 2 or 3 years experience and they produce works that are out of this world. However, it is sad that how great your works are won’t do much for you as a designer if you’re not in an environment that fosters the growth of your skill or talent.
In a country with several design agencies and thousands of very good freelancers, most of our government bodies have very horrible visuals-from terrible brand identities to poorly-designed websites. The interesting thing about this is that almost every single rebrand attempt ends up being a disaster.
There is a lot of hope in the fact that back then, not much noise was made when a logo of a government body was released. Now government bodies receive heavy backlash for bad identity jobs. There is the fact that people will always talk about it whether good or bad. The disturbing part of the issue is when they turn a blind eye to professional critics. This only communicates one thing – that the government doesn’t really care about design. If they don’t care about how our things look, why would they even care about the people who make them and this is where the woes of Ghanaian designers start; where people want to pay you 50cedis for logo design and 20cedis for poster design after all who cares how it looks “we just need something to represent something” they say.
Is there anyone out there who cares about design in Ghana? Where are those who have been in the design industry (if we have one) for a very long time? How can upcoming designers learn from your experiences? Are there success stories? What path should a talented designer take to reach your position, or what skills do we need to gamble on as young designers? Is there any authority? Is there a body?
This post is just to get us asking questions. Questions that as upcoming designers in Ghana, we need to ask ourselves. After 61 years, is there a story to tell; an industry to survive in?
If we’re not taking it serious, who should.