Being a Graphic Designer: The Love Diary

Came across a brilliant post on LinkedIn that pointed out the exact issue that hiring has these days. The search for perfect. The search for someone who has an epiphany the night before joining the job – to know what must be produced and how. I find this sort of personal agency/attitude rather mediocre.

Some people ask me about my job – what does a graphic designer do? Well… A graphic designer assembles together images, typography, or motion graphics to create a piece of design that is informative, and functional – but also aesthetically following rules (that a marketing person didn’t learn at school – that’s why marketing needs the designer). A graphic designer creates the graphics primarily for published, printed, or electronic media, such as brochures and advertising – to inspire, inform, and captivate consumers (all this with an added continuous feedback session, without constructive feedbacks the design work is suboptimal).

When designers start a new job, they come with certain skill sets, not equipped to copy designs produced by others but rather create. Designers have their portfolios that depict their style and their previous work done. Word of advice: get to know your newly hired designers style and spend time getting to know your designer and his/her creative process, – don’t hire a designer if you think their style don’t match your thinking. Or if you are a boss (with no design background) who would be able to trust your designer with new visuals – then hire that creative and see the work they produce without trying to bring your limited aesthetic understanding into the equation. Also, it can get demotivating super fast, if a designer never gets recognition for the amount of work they produce.

A good workplace inspires their workers to do well by showing gratitude and giving acknowledgment for every piece of work produced. Eg: the first print of the design is not to be opened at the economics graduate’s desk just cause the person project managed! Bring it to the designer – let the designer open the package with the printed final product. Cause like it or not – that design is there cause your designer spent hours creating it in the middle of some absurd barking remarks from a stressed out project manager incapable of communicating civilly and keen on micromanaging. Showing gratitude to your design-worker keeps the worker motivated to produce good work, to work harder and even at times be available at odd hours.

Graphic designers are constantly getting micro managed by those with zero design knowledge (to the point of being asked a 1000 times if the type is correct – when the designer keeps on pointing out the “hidden Easter egg” in the design they’ve been asked to replicate, and then told to use the font mentioned in style guide despite how wrong it is) is just fascinating. So with time, I realised that some designers with high competence and excellent qualifications can never do best at certain agencies, as their work would be considered sub-optimal cause those project managing these designers are like individuals with a Hasselblad H6D-400C MS, knows how to press the button and has learnt up by-heart the nitty gritty of the camera configuration (cause technocrat) but has no clue about how to optimise the performance of that camera with creative thinking. Hence the camera sits around being an expensive addition, but has no use cause no one knows how to handle it. Or how to put it to use. It takes love and care to handle machines. Also, just cause the machine didn’t come with a German manual doesn’t mean the machine is a bad machine – rather your limited knowledge of other languages makes you a fool for not knowing how to operate the machine.

Here’s hoping that the machine gets used well, and not beaten around against the wall and given bad reviews just cause someone got frustrated at their own incompetence.

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