Three things designers aren’t (and three things we are)
I studied Political Science in college. I was supposed to go to law school upon graduation, but instead I worked various jobs before I finally stopped worrying and learned to love Photoshop. I am not the only designer I’ve met who has a similar story of drastic career changes. For some strange reason, the world of design appeals to a wide range of people with diverse interests and backgrounds.
All this being said, there is a perception that designers fit into a certain mold or profile. Well, this poli sci major with a professional background in theatre production and finance is here to tell you that the diverse nature of this industry only helps our clients. Still, I feel the need point out some myths regarding what people think about designers and show just how mythological they are.
Myth 1: Designers are quirky eccentrics
Sure, we might have action figures at our desk and maybe we are a little too into Star Wars or the continuity of the Marvel Multiverse, but while you might think we’re weirdos, we’re actually tapping into today’s culture in a way that informs and improves our work. Today’s designer needs to be up-to-date with trends not only in the design world, but in music, filmmaking, photography, current events and more. Combine that working knowledge of the current state of affairs with our well-honed skills and you have quite the arsenal. So while it may make us seem like we are eccentric or kooky, we promise you, we are are actually researching your end users.
Myth 2: Designers only use computers to create
A lot of people think designers spend hours in basement cubicles staring at computer screens wishing they could fulfill their real life goals of being true “artistes.” At LoSasso, our creative team includes seamstresses, 2D illustrators, pop culture sponges, a home improvement guru, a break dancer, a singer and more. We are all artists and we are all designers. Design is a 24/7 kind of job and inspiration can come from anywhere! Although, full disclosure, we do totally work in the basement.
Myth 3: Designers are artists with fragile egos
Design is best defined as problem solving through the strategic use of art. Where an artist can choose to ignore critique, a designer must be willing to accept editorial notes and come to new solutions that make the client happy. In fact, a successful designer WANTS feedback. We might defend the merits of our work and its role within a project if we feel it serves the client’s business needs, but there is no place for ego in design.
3 myths debunked! Not so bad! So now that you’ve seen what we aren’t, I’d like to point out three things that we are:
A designer is just a piece of the creative puzzle. We have to work with copywriters, account teams, photographers, web developers, and the client to reach the right solution. We need to be collaborative or the product fails. This is why we see a lot of extroverts succeed in this part of the creative industry. Communication and collaboration are mandatory.
2. Strategy-focused question askers
A designer will ask “why” a lot. And I mean a lot. Since design is meant to accomplish a goal, sometimes a designer will need a lot of clarification to help achieve that goal. We are always trying to crystallize the core issue so we can solve it more strategically. We also understand everyone’s time is valuable and the more questions we ask upfront, the fewer revisions there will be going forward. We prize efficiency in tandem with creativity.
3. Quirky eccentrics
OK, yeah we’re all pretty quirky. But don’t hold that against us! Designers use all the tools in our toolkit, even our weirdness, to create unique, innovative designs for our clients.
So the next time you find yourself working with a designer, keep in mind that while we are creatives and artists, we have diverse skills and backgrounds that inspire innovation beyond just moving things around on a grid. We want to help our clients reach their business goals through collaboration, not just through artistic expression. And most importantly, our love of Star Wars and Space Ghost action figures only makes us more of an asset to you, we swear.