I think design is to designate. Your limbs. Your knowledge. Your thoughts. Your skills. Your life experience. Your opinion.
Design is that moment, when and where everything comes together. What we don’t realise is that everything you project to the world (especially design) has a long term impact on your society.
There is nothing that angers me more than people promoting themselves as “designers” by using purchased Shutterstock vectors manipulated in Word or Paint, by adding some “brush script” or Comic Sans and calling it a logo. (Yes, if you do this, I am judging you). Designers work hard, spend time on perfecting their skills and they have a reason for each design decision they make.
In Design School, we learnt that ‘graphic design’ is definitely not just slapping some images on paper. There is a careful consideration into solving a problem, by using research and as much information you can gather.
I see myself as an artisan, and it’s not easy. Every design action is based on a calculated thought process. I gather info (do research) to solve an identified problem. I sort through what is relevant and use different elements to create a visual concept and solution for this problem. Then I review it against the objective of the brief. I get some input from other people with a different perspective, I try to understand those perspectives, implement feedback and review again. I keep on going through this process at lightning speed, in my head, until my eyes (and ears in the case of multimedia) are satisfied with the final product and until I feel I have solved the problem. Believe me, one can easy spend 4-6 hours on perfecting a double page spread in InDesign.
What one must understand is that the skills I have learnt and acquired by understanding and studying the origins of influence within designers that came before me. By identifying their work, both failures and success guides me on a daily basis. And I still learning every day.
If you aspire to join a kick-ass design team like we have here at Flume, remember this quote from the design is history website:
“As a designer, it is important to understand where the design came from, how it developed, and who shaped its evolution. The more exposure you have to past, current and future design trends, styles and designers, the larger your problem-solving toolkit. The larger your toolkit, the more effective of a designer you can be.”
Here is the website that you should visit if you are curious about this topic and want to root your design skills in more than just super-skills in adobe software…. http://www.designishistory.com/
Get working on those portfolios and send them on… We are always looking for some diamonds in the rough. 😉