There is something special and priceless about being able to express yourself through your work. One of the things I was taught in my early days of study was that design is ‘non-personal’ and that fine art was ‘personal’. After 18 years in the graphic design and advertising industry, I must say that I disagree to some extent with that statement. Even though in design we have clients or creative directors, who give us briefs for designing communication to sell a product, service or idea; I have found the creative journey and design process, through which the successful outcome is achieved, to be a personal one.
When designing, the goal is to create an outcome that is aesthetic, balanced, simple, understandable, engaging and most of all, provoking. To achieve this, the designer has to take ownership of the design by adopting a sense of responsibility for the visual outcome and effectiveness to communicate with the target audience. This process begins with gathering the relevant information, text, imagery and reference material, then using all of his or her experience coupled with all the building blocks of great design. The designer begins to compose their piece of creative communication. Unlike accounting and other more logical and calculable industries, the success of a design piece is pretty much based on whether the client likes it or not, which is mostly defined as a ‘subjective’ view. One person may love what you do, while another does not. I have however found that the more I substantiate my design with factual basis or reference, the more likely I can get my client to like and love the design. For example, I would substantiate that I used red because of the energy and passion that it evokes, and then the client would like it; or an italicized font to show energy and speed. These are very elementary examples of reference but they illustrate the point that we can make something that is perceived to be subjective, quite objective.
Graphic Design truly is a wonderful platform for creative expression and in many respects, an art-form in itself.