After attending an inspiring design conference this month, hosted in Toronto by RGD Ontario, my thoughts about design and how people think about design has been somewhat expanded. This article has come together more as a reflection than a “what to do” type of article.
After listening to various legends of design and up and coming artists in the field, my perspective has broadened on the value of design. Even though we interact with design as part of our everyday lives, we can be unaware of it. Designers are a part of everything we interact with; the box of cereal you open for breakfast has been designed to look a certain way for shelf appeal, the design on the coffee cup you likely picked up on the way to the office this morning, right down to the logo on your underwear has a purpose.
Designers are a part of everything we touch, although the value of design is the number one issue that designers in the industry face on a daily basis. These masters of their profession have to take all the data provided by marketing professionals, research, trends and client expectations and come up with a design that makes their clients, product or brand marketable. They need to be tech savvy, web enabled, artistically oriented, business minded and passionate about their profession.
This seems like a tall order for any individual but designers are an interesting group, those who are designers and reading this completely understand. Those who have ever dealt with a designer also understand (although if you were to compare notes they might be slightly different opinions). We thrive on how technology is contributing to the communication industry, we are passionate about our craft, and I say craft because you cannot be a designer without truly taking pride in the work you create and the product you are providing to your clients.
With the access to desktop publishing software; many people have the idea that “anybody can be a designer”. With this comes the rise of the “graphic designers” who lack the professional skills and training. Access to the tools doesn’t come with a carefully crafted formula to spark a reaction, serve a purpose and create a return on investment. We believe in the importance of offering our clients the highest degree of professionalism. So, along with these skill sets, the designers at VS Group are also members of RGD Ontario and with this comes a code of ethics and standards that we practice.
All of this to say, design is a craft and a skill. Similar to our last article on the value of website design and programming, graphic design is also something that is carefully constructed by years of thumbnail sketches, roughs, concepts, critiques, observation and the most important; continuing education. The value of what we create is the message we design and the story we tell.
Anyone can design a brochure, but a professional graphic designer creates a message that people truly want to read.