Graphic design is such a rewarding profession. Designers see our creative ideas come to life through various media, feeling a sense of pride when others use our work to showcase their companies.
It can also, however, be the cause of unrelenting frustration, dealing with the negative aspects of design by committee, and clients who, no matter how much you educate them to the contrary, will never utilise the full benefits of our experience.
What is it then, that drives us to foresake more highly-paid occupations for a role that can often go unrewarded?
Becoming a graphic designer
I’ve always had a love of art, and some of my most memorable school projects focused on the likes of Mondrian, Kandinsky and Matisse. Combined with a solid grasp of technology classes during my high-school years, I think the merging of those two interests formed the passion I have for graphic design.
There’s an interview I gave for Jeff Andrew’s Design Inspiration where I briefly touch upon my education and the twists and turns that lead to where I am today.
When I started my design studies, the emphasis was upon the printed product. No-one, at least none of my peers, could imagine just how important the emergence of online technologies would be. In fact, it wasn’t until I started at university — after four years course of college design education — when I bought my first mobile phone (gone are the days when I could actually remember my friends’ phone numbers).
Holding your design in print, as a tangible product, gives a sense of satisfaction that just isn’t there with digital imagery. It’s more permanent, less deletable.
There’s a particularly important factor that keeps me motivated, and that’s the need to learn about a diverse range of industries. For instance, one week I could be working on an identity for a cancer charity, studying allogeneic stem cell transplants and bisphosphonate treatment, then the next I’m focused on a design for a French wine producer, increasing my knowledge of grand cru and the Vosges. The knowledge a graphic designer needs is limited only by the diversity of her client-base.
Working with people from all walks of life, and from many different countries, pushes me to learn about the world in which we’re living.
It’s that same hunger for knowledge that drives many graphic designers.
What led you to where you are today?