Why is it that people are so surprised that graphics design requires skill and knowledge*? Sure superficially there is nothing special in graphics design at first glance. Still, there is quite much to know to do a good job. This is the 21st century; everything has already been convoluted to the extreme.
Some of the tech you need to understand are actually very hard things. Let’s take color management as an example. Color management is a complex problem, even in some cases a hard problem. The solutions that exist out there are only adequate, by no means perfect. In many ways the color management problem has many of the features of security, the weakest link in your color chain can screw everything up. To be able to manage all this one needs to know quite many things that are much more technical than most artists would like to be bothered with.
On top of the technical knowledge one also needs to understand basics of human psychology business and so on. But most complex of all a graphic designer is expected to have taste, something that most your clients lack. So why do I meet so many people who assume graphic design is easy?
PS: Answers from people with no experience in graphics design more than welcome.
* Such as how to divide a circle into 5 equal pieces. I didn’t say everything is hard 🙂
I’m not a graphics designer, but I don’t think the issue you’re describing is in any way specific to graphics design. I think that if you look hard enough, you can find this is issue in any field — I know I’ve seen it in software development, for example.
There’s something in psychology called the Dunning–Kruger effect, which I think is related. It is a cognitive bias that seems to apply to any activity, ranging from (e.g.) understanding a piece of text to being a doctor. The bias is that people who are unskilled at or inexperienced in any particular activity will overestimate their own skill level and underestimate others’ skill level. In other words, being unskilled at or inexperienced in something not only prevents one from performing it, but it even prevents one from accurately evaluating anyone performing it.
Thus, if someone knows nothing or very little about graphics design, they are prone to underestimating its difficulty.