Lisaholland’s Weblog

What Makes Me a Designer?

Posted in Magawebzine Work by lisaholland on January 15, 2009

What makes me a designer? My answer is that you have to have some form of creativity and an instinct of what looks good. The things that inspire me have enabled me to do this.

I have a number of things that help me to be creative and any designer artist or creative person has things that inspire them artistically. Something that pulls them through that “artist’s block”. These are the things that make me strive for a better solution to the problem and push me towards becoming a better designer.

Research is an essential part of being a designer, it is what contextualizes the work I do and keeps me aware of what trends are fashionable in graphic design. Looking at other designer’s works is a main source of inspiration for me. Whether I am looking through design magazines or at an interesting web page it inspires me to try harder and better myself. It isn’t just graphic design or advertising that is inspirational, animation, fine art, sculpture, architecture and fashion are all useful visually. Looking at different designers that are unknown and using a wide range of resources to conduct my research is very important. It provides a wider collection of imagery to work from.

Visiting museums is a significant and extremely useful part of being a designer and for me, a bonus. It is a chance to see amazing pieces of design, art and so much more. The experience you get at a museum is inspiring in its self, being surrounded by so many beautiful things and being filled with knowledge has a positive effect. After a visit to a museum I always have an urge to do something creative.

Although some of the work I come across through my research and museum visits may not always be to my personal taste or style, it shows other options and gets me to try things I wouldn’t normally do. This sometimes leads to a better outcome than what I had before.

I have had a fair amount of briefs that I have needed to do research for. This has lead me to some personal favourite designers, art movements and fonts. I find I am drawn to more alternative design. I love a little bit of quirkiness and a designer that optimizes this is Stefan Sagmeister. His Typographic work has an extremely individual look. The way Sagmesiter does his work by hand is a refreshing change from the digital work that has been around for years. His work relates to me because I myself prefer to draw by hand rather than using the computer.

One design movement that I have always found inspirational is Russian Constructivism. Its instantly iconic and immediately recogniseable style impresses me and I endeavor to make my own work have that same impact.

The Design Process is an invaluable part of each project. The experimentation that comes along with it, helps me to get my ideas flowing and eventually to narrow down the best ideas that need to be developed further.

During the developmental stage of my work I constantly ask people for their opinion. It is important to know what people like about it, what they don’t, what they think could make the design better. The approval from others is significant because I act as if they are the customers and they could be buying the product that I am designing.

Graphic Design can sometimes come with pressure. This pressure keeps me motivated and working hard. It makes me want to make sure my work is up to standard and the best that I can possibly do.

Graphic Design is not a career choice it is a lifestyle. I try to do something creative everyday. University work generally takes up this rule, but I also design things for others and myself. I enjoy what I do and take pleasure in creating work that is inspirational to people or even other designers.

Design has to work and attract the attention of the consumer. The attention is only ever for a short time and that is the challenge that a Graphic Designer has to solve, and that is exactly what I love most about it.


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