Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The tortured Graphic Designer

Graphic Design. Mention these two words at your yearly family gathering and dear aunty Liz will ask you to design a logo and web site for her Tuisnywerheid. “As a favour” she’ll add, with her manicured talons tapping the table. Of course you do it, afraid that refusing will cause a family ‘Skandal’.


A month later you get your payment, a basket of coconut marshmallows.


Now you might be thinking that Aunty Liz is the exception to the majority of modern technology minded individuals. But in my experience I still find that people have a slightly pixilated view of what Graphic Design really is and the amount of work that goes into it.


Ok, hang on, before I start ranting and giving away let’s get to what the main aim of design is.


Good design is invisible.


A well laid out clean and clear poster should subconsciously draw the viewer in and get the information into their head within a few seconds. It’s not flashy and doesn’t shout ‘look at me mom I’m a designer’. Its main function is to bring order and clarity to information.


The best designers in history were early cave painters and Egyptian artisans who created the hieroglyphics. These artworks have survived through the ages and have handed down information from generation to generation.


The design we do on a day to day basis will represent the information in your menu, brochure, poster, website, emailer, flyer or catalogue in an orderly, easy to understand manner, while still making it interesting to the eye.


Looking at the carefully crafted finished design we ask you to try to fight the urge to say “ I could have done that!” or “ I dunno – it’s nice but I want more WOW”.


Much like any profession, unless you are skilled in the art of Graphic Design, aesthetically & artistically talented and expert in every nuance of every software programme – you couldn’t have done that.


The Great Graphic Design Myth


The graphic designer and his tool of the trade - the mystical Mac - are viewed with suspicion by most marketing people. Well, let me clear up a rumour you might have heard.


No, we don’t have a key on the bottom of our keyboards that magically resizes an A5 advertisement into an A1 poster.


When you want a high res file within 30 minutes, we don’t have said magical key to reconstruct that baby in under 60 seconds.


Rather we will need to work with the fury of Demons, sweating and crazy eyed, to make sure you eventually get the artwork 40 minutes later .


And then, please resist the urge to say “It’s nice, but I think I could have done that myself”.




Brendon Hull - Senior Graphic Designer & Studio Manager - Artifact Advertising


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