What is graphic design today? Adrian described it in a couple sections: Social Design, and Digital Design.
Social design has to do with design that isn’t about selling things. Its about designing something for the “common good” as Adrian puts it. Social design is something that is important for designers to do every now and then just to get their creative juices flowing. Some jobs are made to pay the bills and are restricted. With social design, you as a designer create a theme in which is important to you and make it look like you want it too.
Digital Design comes from the technological advances we have made. Designers are now suppose to know so much more than print and advertising. Designers have different avenues in which to apply their skills. You have websites, print, advertising, environmental, apps, etc. All which designers can possibly do. Graphic designers are multi-facated and is directly influenced through digital.
What graphic design has become is something that most people can’t really prove or really even explain. How can a person tell a graphic designer that went to school, from a self taught graphic designer, and from a person who knows photoshop and a little bit of illustrator and calls themselves a graphic designer? Its extremely difficult to go on titles alone with this field. With digital design, it has become easier for anyone and everyone to make their own grasp at design. Sometimes that can be a good thing because there are some awesome self taught individuals out there that are successful and enjoy what they do. Other times… it can be bad; Looking at some businesses, one can really see all the bad design out there. For clients, looking around and picking out the good designers from all the bad ones is difficult.
When I was reading this chapter, I actually felt a little detached. At this time in moment I don’t really believe that I could even delve into running a studio and on top of that hiring staff and keeping this running smoothly. I did like the quote that Adrian said about employing creative staff.
"Always employ people who are better than you."
I do believe that this is a very important thing. Surrounding yourself with awesome designers that have a range of talents (people who can do things you can’t do) will give a studio a broader range.
For non-design staff, I do believe that they are important to any studio. Having them even if its only to balance account, it will help free up some time to actually design. You do not want to be behind in work because of the books, money, contracts and the like.
The only part of this chapter that I found helpful was the studio philosophy. Having something positive to believe in while working can really make or break a studio; if people are positive and enjoy where they work then better work will come out of your studio.
Chp. 6: Finding New Work and Self-Promotion
There were two parts to this chapter that I saw. Part one had to do with self image and what you want others to perceive you as. Part two had to do with inserting yourself into the world of design.
Reputation, portfolios, and designers’ web sites will be some of the most important things a designer could worry about. For reputations, of course you would not want to present yourself bad. Nobody wants that. But you do have to keep in mind that the design circle is small, not everyone will know who you are. You need to constantly work hard to get that reputation.
"We can’t fake good work-we really have to do it. Attempts to fake or hype success are always spotted"
With portfolios, many things are changing. Its not necessarily needed to bring in a book of your work. You can use i-pads, computers, or other electronics to showcase your work. I believe that it should be based on personal style; some people it totally makes sense to create a pdf slideshow to showcase their work (plus it is lightweight and you could carry all your work without it being an issue). For others, if their pieces are meant to be held and fiddled around with, printed work could possibly be a better route. But just keep things updated and showcase work that is good and also something you enjoyed. You should showcase something you didn’t like doing because what happens if you are hired because they like that sort of work you did? That would be horrible. Oh ya….and Adrian also talked about how a beautiful logo in a sea of empty white space is a big mistake. He suggests to always mock it up to show it in the real space. I don’t really agree with that just for the fact of clients should see the logo for what it is without any content. It should though be followed up by a mocked up solution to show that it could work in both mocked up terms and also just by itself. If a logo can be powerful on a blank sheet of paper and also mocked up, it might persuade the clients/ interviewer that you know what to do.
Designers’ websites are important platforms for any designer to showcase you. You can have some personality in it but most importantly..Keep it updated! You shouldn’t only rely on this though. Have a blog, flickr account, or other things. Be linked into society!
With finding new work….being positive and friendly will help with that and also keeping involved in the design conferences, schools, and other functions can really help connect you with the who’s who in design.
Chp. 7: Clients
"there are no bad clients, only clients turned into bad clients by bad designers"
Seriously? I’m sorry to say. There are bad clients out there that will tear you apart and just not listen. Granted I will say, some people have dealt with bad designers and these “designers” make it harder for good designers to prove to these people that the designer is there to collaborate with them but does have more design sense then them. What I think is important with clients is collaboration, knowledge, and being understanding. If you keep those things in mind, the good clients will shine through and make your days better. As for the clients that you don’t mesh with….unless you work in a huge firm, you most likely will not have to work with them again.
I have a lot to set up. The zines are going well personal just needs to make sure it lines up right. The Exhibition zine needs a couple things just to lay it out before doing a test printout and then final print. Most of these I should be able to knock out (have ready to print) by this weekend. Thats my timeline. Oh and important thing to not ever ever ever ever forget…..slide deck….get my booty moving to get that under control.
Are you kidding me? Same name, same freaking career choice (I’m about 2 years ahead of her at least) I swear I just need to change my name or get my own domain soon before anything else goes awry. But seriously? How many Jessica Wooden’s are really out there?
Reading Response: How To Be A Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul
The first and foremost thing that I noticed with this book was the readability of the first couple of chapters. Out of all the books of design, I think that this one captured my attention right away. The voice that Adrian used was something that was familiar and fun. He was persistent in telling the reader that his book isn’t the “complete right way” of doing things, instead he focuses on telling people that during his experiences these were some things that seemed to come in handy.
The cultural awareness section had a feel of common sense air about it. As a designer one cannot be close minded, we must be sponges and soak up what the world has to offer us. Personally I think that sometimes I feel as though I’m going into seclusion zone when working on a project. Taking time away from your own personal space can really surround yourself with good vibes.
Number #01 thing that Adrian stressed throughout this entire section:
LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN
Learning to communicate is essential for ANY person. I agree with Adrian about listening is important (since it is a two-way thing). If you don’t listen to what a person is nervous about or likes/dislikes then you may just rub that person wrong; leading to you possibly not working with them in the near or far future.
Also being able to confidently talk and explain your own work great communication skills. Knowing what you are about without stumbling through words makes you as a person sound more professional and knowledgeable. Stumbling, mumbling, or poor body language might make people think you are unsure or not confident. Nobody wants to exude that at all.
Having a sturdy mind and a clear idea of where you stand with design can be very difficult, especially coming straight out of college. You want to know that you are fitting well with the company your with and may be a little shy in speaking up and saying no. Of course one wouldn’t want to be so brash and end up just being an outspoken s.o.b. Respect will get you a long way; and if you learn to have a solid opinion and balance it with respect….I think you would be golden.
This reading was quite interesting since it made me really think about the art that had inspired me. The whole idea of actually sitting down and thinking, reflecting about art in the past is quite different than my ordinary routine. Everywhere we are surrounded by design, some beautiful and well thought out, others…..well not so good. We create a filter for design and we go on about our lives without really “seeing”. Although, when that one good piece pops into your vision, it sticks with you. Your brain stores away your reaction and then it starts morphing you to who you are. You don’t realize it, but those little incidents of going to a museum and seeing an awesome piece or buying an inspiring poster can really shape you.