Covid-19 has hit the world’s economies really hard — whether it’s the US or the Philippines — and many people have lost their jobs as businesses are closing shop. As of May 2020, around 30 million people are estimated to be unemployed in the US due to the pandemic.
While in the Philippines, a developing economy in Southeast Asia, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME’s) have been grappling with the world’s longest lockdown just to stay afloat.
Numbers from the country’s National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) show that more than 60 percent of these MSME’s had to stop operations, while 70 percent responded that they did not reduce their workforce. This means that these businesses are not making any profit, while the expenses are still there.
The pandemic wrought on by Covid-19 has been terrorizing livelihoods left and right, regardless of a nation’s status, and world leaders, alongside health experts, have been exhausting all means necessary towards recovery. But until more concrete steps have been implemented, and the spread of the coronavirus has been controlled, the socio-economic and political impact of Covid-19 will continue to further paralyze business operations.
Even with some offices adopting Work-From-Home (WFH/WAH) measures as part of their Business Continuity Plans (BCP), a lot of people have turned to freelancing as either a full- or part-time gig to keep their cash streams flowing.
Helping People See Better
Information, especially in such dire times, has become such an invaluable commodity to the public. Since the growing use of social media in our ever-digital lives, access to reliable information has somewhat been compromised due to the proliferation of fake news.
People will need a discerning eye as they scroll down and sift through the many links, anecdotes, and articles that appear in their respective feeds. This is where graphic design becomes a crucial part of our daily experience.
Visual communication is key in influencing an audience’s behavior, and consequently, spreading the correct information. Imagine this: a block of text on a webpage discussing the effects of wearing a mask when outdoors, as opposed to not wearing one. The difference can save a life, but there are people who believe otherwise.
Wouldn’t an infographic comparing the two be a more efficient way to get this message across? Not to downplay the ability of language to communicate an idea, but it must be considered that these are unprecedented times. Reaching every community, from the educated to the stubborn, and even those in provinces and far flung areas, is of utmost importance — to inform them that staying home and observing social distance, among other Do’s and Don’ts, is critical to containing the virus.
The United Nations (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO), for instance, have called on creatives to come together and help spread awareness by reaching the disadvantaged. The illiterate, for example, are more receptive to images about the health and safety protocols set in place. From flyers to posters, and even radio and TV ads, or shareable content via social media, graphic designers are among those leading the charge. A quick image search will yield a wide selection of images that show this manifestation.
Graphic Designers, Unite!
Businesses and organizations are now utilizing the internet as a platform to engage and interact with their market more than ever. This proves that the demand for graphic design can only be increasing, and while practically the whole world is at a standstill facing this pandemic, the opportunity is there. A business owner can choose to hire an in-house designer or outsource the work to a freelancer — either way, the work available for the graphic designer remains.
Freelancing as a part-timer can open multiple doors. It can help a graphic designer transition towards another job role, like UI/UX or fashion design. With the right clientbase, a freelancer can keep a steady income as a nation’s economy recuperates.
A full-timer, on the other hand, will definitely have more benefits by being employed; such as medical care, taxes taken care of by the company, and a more stable monthly income, among others. That being said, the economic outlook for most MSME’s in the time of Covid-19 may not be too friendly, but for graphic designers all over the world, there still should be light