Prompt:  Write a full two paragraph summary of the following article.  One thing you must include at the end of your summary is a connection with your own experience.  Being completely honest with yourselves and with me…how do you feel that this article relates to your own experience with graphic design?  Where do your own beliefs compare or contrast with the author’s? 

Don’t be a Tooler by Milton Glaser

10/12/2010 01:37:27 am

Overall the article is expressing the hatred for “Toolers” these days. Toolers are people who get on a computer using either Paint or Adobe Photoshop and make an image using basic preset or blending options. These people do not take the time to really develop unique and creative idea but rather just go in and pretty much let the computer do all the work. The author is upset that when asked to create a tutorial online, he was asked to not use hand drawing in the tutorial but rather use an auto sketch tool on the computer. He was put off by this request because he feels that hand sketches are vital to a good design. He even says that if he removes drawing from his work he should just “remove breathing from my living process too!”

The reader can understand where he is coming from though especially me, I am on my third year of graphics design and when I started I was a Tooler who would throw gradients in the background and see how many blending modes I could add to an image to make it look cool. But not I have ventured far away from that realm and try to create effect originally instead of preset options that a mindless amateur can do. The author has all right to be upset since this is his passion and something he I good at and his passion is being undermined by Tooler across the world. That’s like a athlete who trained for 10 years finally making a name for himself, and then some new kid who took steroids and other illegal growth hormones to improve his game walking on a taking the athlete who trained spot. The one who fought hard and did it the right way is undermined by someone who knows little and took the easy way out … aka “Tooler”

Connor Coppock
10/12/2010 01:46:29 am

Milton Glaser is an American designer that believes that the world of design is becoming a sham. There are so many “designers” out there that simply use point and click techniques in their art that the real artists are difficult to find. Glaser believes that graphic designers need to learn how to draw (at least somewhat) and use that in their graphic artwork, rather than it being simply digital.

The “Toolers” are the graphic equivalent of a “Poser” in any other form of creativity. In other words, toolers are people who pretend to learn how to use programs like Photoshop or Illustrator, and then call the fake images they create “art”. Glaser also states that it is easy to tell real artists from the toolers, due to the fact that websites like or hire the fake artists to do their bidding. I agree with Milton Glaser completely, as I can relate. Sadly, I used to be a tooler as well; I know exactly what it feels like to be called one as well. I would like to help with Milton Glaser’s cause, and to end as much “tooling” as possible.

Yana Yegorova
10/12/2010 01:53:19 am

Graphic design is spiraling into a muddled mess of pre-made layouts, mindless logos, and comic sans font. In a time where almost anyone with a computer can create a business card, the true art of design is being quickly forgotten. As Von Glitschka explains, when he was asked to create a piece for MacUser Magazine UK, they requested for him to completely discard the process of analog drawing in favor of more digital methods. To divorce drawing from digital design would be to completely abandon the core concepts of creativity and imagination, in favor of more flashy effects and tools. Art students are zombifying into Toolers, people who refuse to use anything but layout sites such as crowdspring or logoworks, abandoning all notions of a creative process, style, or core concepts.

Toolers are turning the progression of graphic design into a bland, ordinary, and easy process. The industry refuses to acknowledge the routine habits of identical layouts, designs, and text. This is destroying the future of a thought process, as designers think they can get away with not being able to draw out their ideas and instead rely on the hundreds of tools to do it for them. Instead, designers need to learn to stay away from that course of action, and actually illustrate their ideas. Being afraid of failure is a foolish notion, as from failure a person can learn how to improve their skills. The skill to take an idea from your mind and demonstrate the concepts on paper will lead to a better way of design, the way of a true artist.

I feel that I attempt to almost draw everything in my designs, and example being my work with Pixcell, my billboard, or even my attempt at the Titans of Design stationary. I favor Illustrator far better than Photoshop, as I can freely draw my own designs instead of depending on tools and effects. I would much rather create than manipulate, and I truly understand what the author is trying to say. Graphic design is becoming into a less artistic occupation, and more so relies on technology to do the work for you. I believe that the key to improving artistic ability is not based on Photoshop effects, but how much effort one places into their drawings and concepts.

Rosa Padron
10/12/2010 09:39:23 am

Once, there were passionate young artists brainstorming ideas on a piece of paper using their loyal companion, the pencil. Then, they were unfortunately replaced by inexperienced designers creating cheap, uncreative logos using cool drop-down menus from the latest software. “Toolers“, is what Von R. Glitschka calls them, amateurs who skip the process of sketching and instead use the program’s tools to achieve their design. He argues that it’s essential and necessary for any designer, no matter in what area they work in, to not be scared of the pencil and learn to use it on their everyday work. This has only produced beginners trying to mimic professional artwork by randomly using effects and creating poorly developed designs without thinking about the design itself.

I highly agree with Glitschka about the importance of sketching/planning before getting all excited about filter effects. I also understand why he was upset for his client asking him to make a tutorial without the drawing part. That’s like NASA telling an aerospace engineer not to sketch a spacecraft to avoid time consumption. Well, any designer can say that if you avoid it now, you‘ll be facing it then. It’s absurd for astronauts trying to protect themselves from the Sun’s rays entering through the spacecraft’s poorly designed walls. That’s just the whole point of sketching, to solve any questions, doubts or problems instead of solving them while working on a design or a project and thus, wasting time. (Or, in other words frying to death).

PS: Well-executed artwork always starts on paper not on a computer screen.

Sarah Fernandez
10/12/2010 11:20:45 am

First and foremost, this article begins with stating that too many people are trying to “dumb” down creativity. The editor asked Glitschka to write a tutorial but to replace the drawing part with a computer tool instead, such as auto tracing. This is a clear indication that clients and designers alike are not taking into account the true creative process. By asking to take the drawing part out, the client is basically asking to take part of the creative process out which is a ridiculous suggestion. Drawing is part of the creative process and always will be no matter what; you cannot just totally eliminate drawing and replace it with a computer method, because that is just changing the creative process itself. To be a well rounded, skilled designer, you have to fit drawing somewhere in your creative process. This article goes to suggest that too many people just leave drawing completely out of the process and think that they can do the same thing with computer methods such as auto-trace or auto-paint and still get the same results. These people are called “Toolers” and they go with the safe route and do not take creative risks. They do not clearly understand what designing is all about; they lack the true creativity that is needed to produce an influential design. The author is frustrated that too many designers nowadays, are just completely forgetting what true creative design is all about, and a lot of designers are just clicking and auto-tracing without truly taking into account the drawing aspect of design. Many designers think that they can slap a gradient or filter on artwork and call that design, when it is not. The author suggests that before computers, his graphic design job was actually seen as talent, and post-computer, his job was seen as mere doing things on the computer and not skillful. People are losing appreciation for the actual talented designers out there, which is somewhat caused by the “Toolers” who think that a filter will solve the creative part of the design.

This article relates to me, because before I took graphic design, I had no idea how much went into it. I was one of those ignorant people that thought “oh graphic design is cool; you get to work on computers”. Now in my 3rd year of graphic design, I understand that the computer is not the center of creativity, but your actual mind is. The ideas to design and create come from your mind and the computer is only used to execute those ideas. The computer does not design for you. I learned that graphic design requires a lot of talent, skill, and creativity, and should be appreciated; I know I appreciate graphic design. That is why I do agree with the author and his frustration with the many people who believe that any one who has a computer and can click on things can be a graphic designer. It takes a lot more than that, you have to have talent, and creativity at your fingertips. Any designer who doesn’t care about the creative process and thinks that auto-tracing and gradients are the answer, aren’t true designers at all.

Andre Weir
10/12/2010 11:57:31 am

The author of the article expresses his thoughts about how some designers rely too much on computer programs to create their ideas effectively without drawing it out first. He calls these designers “Toolers.” Toolers believe the drawing process of a design is not as important as creating it on the computer. When artist choose this path, their future of growing as better designers are restrictive and they will always lack full creativity. Also the author believes some computer programs like Logoworks are responsible for Toolers. These software programs skip the whole drawing process and because of that, some of the designs’ results are terrible.

This article impacts me as a designer in several ways. At times, I do tend to skip the drawing process when I’m designing because I believe I have the whole design sketch out in my head. Then I jump straight to the computer but when I do, my designs never come out as I picture them. There is always something missing. Whether it is more color or new adjustments to the design, I can never make it as perfect as the one in my mind. So I have to go back and draw out my ideas on paper and sometimes when I do that, more creative thoughts come into my mind.

Andre' Tavarez
10/12/2010 12:03:43 pm

To begin, the introduction of this article is explaining what incident caused the author of the post to post this selection. During the beginning, there was a section that described how artist these days take advantage of the shortcuts technology has provided in art. The author describes how these people as “toolers”. People have noticed the changes in technology and have taken advantage of it while older styles are lost. The passage emphasizes the question “What happen to hand drawn figures?” A lot of tutorials these days are just multiple shortcuts put into a long process. Let’s be honest, when we as people take advantage of these tutorials we learn pretty much nothing.
Continuing, the selection also states that graphic designers aren’t appreciated for what they do. If someone was to ask a great graphic designer about what he/she did, all they would get in response is “That’s cool” or “Yeah I’ve did that before too with paint” or something along those longs. Graphic design is very difficult and it requires lots of time, practice, and effort. Using paint and clip art will not construct and good notable piece of art. Also, digital artwork has corrupted many individuals without them even realizing it. Is you think about things, art work first started as hand work. In my opinion, we all who use computers are considered “toolers”. I think that a digital device that produces art is also a shortcut in the art world. Being able to compose art from hand is a very important skill to obtain. If you want art work to be precise then pick up this skill as quickly as possible. I agree with the majority of this article. He has a pretty good view on things and it makes perfect sense. The art produced today is made with such ease when a while back a piece of art work took days or even weeks to create.

Nicholas Maddalena
10/12/2010 12:58:33 pm

The author of “Don’t be a Tooler,” initiates his blog with describing his job and the passion he has in his profession. He then exemplifies a previous tutorial he as asked to make and then shows how the company wanted him to leave out the drawing aspect of the tutorial. This however, is an essential part in being a graphic designer is like “not breathing.”
In addition, he moves on to state that all creativity is being lost among individuals in this generation due to the lack of drawing or no drawing at all. Anyone has room for improvement in their drawing abilities but it just assists in making the brain think more innovatively.
Tutorials located all over the internet are then attacked in order to rove that individuals think they are “designers” if they know ho to use a filter or a drop down tool in a certain program. He then leads into taking risks when designing something in order for it to be considered creative at all. Tutorials and skipping the drawing process are maybe ways to avoid failure and take the easy route. Instead, there is no creativity being practiced or improved.
“Toolers,” create an image amongst people that don’t understand the truth of the art and craft of designing something. Most people believe that everything is easy and that they can go on the computer and just learn how to use the “tools” and consider themselves as a graphic designer. This is degrading to graphic artists because there are so many fake graphic artists that target businesses and companies in order to get some money.
The author leads into describing that auto-tracing cannot replace physically hand drawing something because it makes it look bad and doesn’t have the distinct qualities and the full depiction of what was created in the designers mind. And in order to be successful at designing you must put in the effort. No other better way shows you are working hard more than improving from failure.

When I first began graphic design I was one of these so-called “toolers.” I thought that the only thing to being a graphic designer was learning how to use photoshop and illustrator on the computer and shazaam. Like magic. However, at the beginning of Graphics II once we started sketching, I understood that there was more to graphic design then just manipulating by trial and error on the computer. I realized that some artistic ability must be exploited through sketching and brainstorming. I definitely could use the time to improve my drawing abilities more than some individuals, however, I believe I have escaped the world of “toolers” and am hopefully becoming more creative through each project.

Sorry for the boring response lol

Anthony Catalano
10/12/2010 01:16:16 pm

Glaser is a graphic designer living in the United States who is happy with his career. Every step required to be successful in this career is something he enjoys doing, even the traditional aspect of it. Unfortunately, not many people see graphic design the way he does. Many people see this career as a simple point and click on the computer to get some easy cash. They are not respecting the amount of hard work that is put into these works that take days to fully complete. The graphic design industry has not always been viewed like this. Only when everything went digital did the respect of graphic artists crash into the ground.
Once computers took over the graphic design industry, many designers (known as toolers) were born. These “toolers” are designers that do a mediocre job at designing for customers. They try to eliminate the process of sketching, drawing, and conceptualizing in a design and just attack a shape with filters. According to Glaser, people like this are bringing the world of graphic design with them. The respect of graphic designers is being lost. The only way the graphic design industry can be repaired is by Toolers actually sitting down with a pencil and paper and learning to sketch, draw, and conceptualize ideas. Sure they will fail in the beginning, everybody does, but it is how you take your failure and turn into a positive that makes them a true graphic designer.
I feel this article relates to me because in my earlier years of first learning what digital art was and how to do it; I would skip any tutorial that had to do with me drawing or thinking. I did not want to do anything that had more to do than click a certain combination of buttons on photoshop. As I get more experienced with graphic design, I am learning how important the traditional aspect of it is and how the outcome will actually come out better just from taking the time to sketch out my ideas on paper. It is almost like making the mould for your art, and without sketching, your taking away that process to make sure your art will be neat, clean, and effective.

Nate Rothleder
10/12/2010 11:29:54 pm

The author of the article, to me, makes a very valid point. The whole time he talks about how the graphics industry is starting to take it the easy way. In doing so, the work they do just looks terrible. He talks about how he was asked to make something for a company and they told him to try and take a short cut and get it done faster. His response was perfect, “Sure, no problem I'll remove drawing from my process. And what the hell, while I'm at it I'll remove breathing from my living process too! Because after all that makes about as much sense.” He's saying that because the company wanted him to use a shortcut to get it done. He thinks that without going through all the processes, you aren't being as creative as if you do them.
I can relate to this article through some personal experience. Obviously in this class we have to sketch everything out. Ive noticed that in doing so, our work looks better. When you sketch out your idea, you create an image that helps you with your design. The article helped me realize how important it is to sketch before you begin a project. Being creative is the main thing that helps you when you sketch. Thats why i draw all the time, it helps me when i need to think of ideas for projects. I think the author is extremely correct in this article.


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