The democratizing nature of the Internet has redrawn the competitive landscape of everything from music distribution to telephone service to the creative process. Even Joe the Plumber can pick up some nice, decorative swag for his van.
While the creative process stands in stark contrast to music distribution and other industries, we do find online services spreading the playing field, increasing competition, and lowering fees … and in the case of spec, lowering fees to zero with the possibility of compensation. While spec threatens the value of design, I think it is the core *idea* of design that faces greater danger. The rise of DIY and “every man design” are re-imagining what design means in the minds of our clients. No research. No process. Just tweak a Bezier here, push a pixel there. Kern some type? We can only hope.