December 1, 2010

Decade Designer – Celebrating 10 years as a Graphic Designer

“You have to be arrogant to make it in the design industry” are words my teacher gave my class, while I was in my first year of study. Fresh out of high school, I remember thinking ‘well, if that’s the case I’ve got no hope!’

About the same time, I was informed by a girlfriend that Graphic Designers only last 1 or 2 years working in the industry before they get tired of it, burnt out and quit to try something new…

When I think back to these comments I am amused… this year I am proud to say that I celebrated my tenth year as a Graphic Designer!

I admit it hasn’t always been easy and still I don’t know everything but I continue to enjoy what I do. 10 years is a long time. What a shame I hadn’t worked for the same company the whole time, I might have been on long service leave right now! Sipping an icy drink on the beach in some tropical location. Sigh!

Instead, I am writing this post. I thought I would reminisce…

The most obvious change would be technology, of course. Back in the old days there were storage devices called floppy disks, they had storage capacity of a whole 1.44mb! now we can carry a USB Flash drive on our keyring that can be up to 256 gig! When I was a kid I asked for a Barbie doll for Christmas now kids are asking for Apple Ipads!

But mostly of I have learnt an incredible amount about design and business…

Design is the search for a magical balance between business and art; art and craft; intuition and reason; concept and detail; playfulness and formality; client and designer; designer and printer; and printer and public.

— Valerie Pettis

The learning curve really begins after you graduate and in my first job in a studio, I was thrown into the busy world of clients, advertising, concepts, deadlines, mock-ups, paper stock, printers, stock images, fonts, campaigns…and the list goes on.

Over the years, what I have learnt most is how important good communication is. In the workplace with your colleagues, clients, suppliers and your boss but even more so when you operate your own business. The most challenging is communicating with clients. Clarity is the key. Making sure that you are both on the same page, that you understand their business and what their needs are but also making sure they understand how you work as well. At Revive, we strive to focus on people rather then businesses and it puts communication on the forefront. We try to make our processes as transparent as possible and our communication clear so that no surprises or false assumptions made. (to me, that is not an arrogant approach!)

Most importantly, I have learn’t how design is a powerful form of communication. It can influence thoughts and attitudes and used in the right way it can have a positive impact. It can be inspiring!

Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.

— Robert L. Peters

So heres to 10 years! Thanks for reading and celebrating with me!

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