The year of the metaverse is here, and the creative industry is amongst the first to experience this major transformation. With technology moving at the speed of light, creatives around the world are feeling the demanding need to adapt–and adapt fast. Fast, however, is an understatement when it comes to the mass adoption of blockchain technology and what it means for the design industry.
Remember the time where having Adobe Suite skills were the top-tier skills to have? Today, Photoshop and Illustrator are the bare minimum creative skills. It’s no longer about how well you can design a print brochure, but how well your creative skills apply to the future of design. And let’s just say, 2022 has many opportunities to explore new creative skills to learn.
1. Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)
We’ve seen them everywhere–from cartoon apes to more serious projects with real use cases. While all of it seems like a fad, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) aren’t actually a trend, but becoming a major part of our lives. More importantly, creatives benefit the most when it comes to the NFT market.
Whether it’s the transparency blockchain provides, the ability to monetize, or the access to a global community, it’s a powerful industry with a growing list of real use cases. Not only will it become more significant for personal gain, but it’s a great competitive advantage to have as a modern creative. As companies increasingly explore paths to implement NFTs, they’ll need a helping hand to execute.
Where once you might’ve been asked to design a regular 2D project, you now may need to create a 3D or animated version of it for an NFT. Will you know how to do this? One thing to remember is that NFTs won’t just be the wild images you see on OpenSea. With time, they’ll only become a major part of how we operate as an economy, therefore affecting the requirements needed for jobs.
2. Extended Reality Design
If you thought virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) were already relevant, wait until the rest of 2022 unfolds. Design within these extended realities will only become more essential to content we’re already seeing now and well into the future. This transition is similar to the first need for 2D graphic design–only now it’s evolved to something much greater than what we’ve imagined.
As more companies like Apple launch their VR headsets, you can expect to see more extended reality platforms emerge. But who will be creating all of this content? We think you know the answer. Even if you’re not looking to venture into VR design entirely, these spaces need supplemental pieces to make it all together. From 3D avatars to Nike sneakers, all elements rely on 3D and motion graphic designers.
3. Custom Illustration
With NFTs, VR and AR taking the lead in both technology and creativity this year, it only makes sense for illustration to be a leading art style. If you’ve ever surfed OpenSea or took a peek at any company’s NFT products, you might notice something they all have in common: they all use some sort of illustrative style.
The days of relying on stock images are over, and creatives will increasingly need to be able to craft more original work–like Robinhood harnesses illustration. While this isn’t a required skill across all industries and jobs, it’s a skill worth exploring. With so many use cases to venture into, being an illustrator is finally becoming highly advantageous.
While we’re just barely into the year of the metaverse, we can begin to see what’s expected to come. Before you think these skill sets are only helpful for companies, it’s actually up to creatives like you to push the adoption of the metaverse forward, making you a key player in it all.