So, since the designyatra post went up, I received 12 emails asking for Adrian’s 10 things that designers do. Here’s my version of the stuff -
1. Good designers are selfish egotists:
Imagine a world where designers were empathetic toward the clients. Where the advertising team put the client at the center and gave them all they wanted instead of the brand. Sure, it would make life a lot easier but what about the work? Wouldn’t that begin to look shitty if directed by somebody else with a completely different mindset?
2. Good designers have verbal skills to match their visual skills:
No piece of work is ever what the client expects. If you are asked to explain your work and your response is “i think it looks nice”, even the best work is bound to be trashed. To articulate the creative process is just as important as designing itself.
3. Good designers stand up for what they believe in, even when it harms them.
Hence the daily dose of fights in agencies. The conviction in work stems from the fact that, what lies in front of you is your sole creation. Of course you will stick to it even if your backside is kicked.
4. Good designers are liars and cheats
In case you haven’t watched Mad Men yet, torrent right away.
5. Good designers are also teachers
As a designer, you become so fanatical about design that you desire to pass it on. Of course, it also leads to self improvement.
6. Good designers are ethical, usually.
“ I began to worry about what we designers, who are very skillful and have powerful tools at our disposal, are doing in the world making a filthy oil company look ‘clean,’ making car brochure higher quality than the car. Is that all okay, or just the level to which design and many other professions have sunk?” So the main question is “What is a Code of Ethics to a graphic designer and what use is it? Isnt it just another boring slab of legalese, more pompous than pertinent?” .. Tibor Kalman
7. Good designers are plagiarists and copyists
“But suppose copying is what makes us human—what then? More than that, what if copying, rather than being an aberration or a mistake or a crime, is a fundamental condition or requirement for anything, human or not, to exist at all?” .. Marcus Boon
8. Good designers know that the non-design part is just as important
Well, if you don’t know what to do with the design, then it becomes just another hobby.
9. Good designers are aesthetes – first and foremost
Every good designer work on their pet projects on the side. Something that is not directed by a client / brand blah.
10. Good designers are outsiders
When you are outside looking in, a fresh perspective can be formed. If you are terrorized by clients, you will never be able to see what others don’t see.
If you are looking for more stuff like this, check The Denver Egotist. Some kick ass write ups.