Whether we as designers try to or want to compete with the Chinese is irrelevant. We are competing with them – and with everyone else. Our clients have the option of going on the Web and finding someone willing to do what we do for a third of the price.
And “you get what you pay for” doesn’t work as an excuse anymore. The guy from China is good. So is the guy from India. Very good. They are as talented and experienced as the best of the West. They simply charge less.
As designers we have to start either matching their prices or we have to start doing more, faster, better without charging more.
There is a third option. Learn from history. The industrial revolution replaced factory workers with machines which could do the same and do it cheaper. Where did all the factory workers go? They did not disappear or starve. They went up one level and continued working. The ones who went early and enthusiastically became wealthier. The ones who clung to manual labor the longest became poorer as their opportunities dwindled.
It’s a terrible thing, comparing design to manual labor, but there you have it.