Herbert Spencer & the profession

This British designer, teacher, writer and editor powerhouse was the brain behind the classic Typographica publications and The Penrose Annual. He also provided this upfront challenge to every member of our profession.

The design profession, emerging from a long period of adolescence, seems now to be wavering…the designer – just as much as the scientist, the engineer, the doctor, or the teacher – has an important part to play. After all, nobody knows better than they do what as a profession they have to offer.
— Herbert Spencer, The Penrose Annual 57 (1964)

What in his time was called lettering art, commercial art, printing, typesetting or graphic arts have now transformed into a diversity of specialized descriptions and confusing nomenclature like: UX designer, information architect, interactive designer, motion artist, graphic designer, communications designer, front-end developer, UI designer, Social media specialist, media evangelist and many more. Regardless of the time, Spencer’s statement is as relevant today as it did when he first uttered them in 1964. 

“Typographica” magazine collection