What I Love About Graphic Design

What I love about graphic design – while there are so many things that motivate me in this industry, I thought it best to narrow them down and came up with these seven thoughts.

In graphic design you have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of clients, opportunities that, in my opinion, foster thinking outside the box. You have to be different – if we all designed the same way, i.e. working with the first idea that pops into our head, nothing would stand out as unique. Thinking outside the box helps produce ‘unique’. Designers are tasked with taking words and translating them into a piece that visually communicates a message, to the right audience, in the best possible way. When done correctly, the design will inspire others to act upon the message. Who doesn’t love the thought of inspiring others?!?

The next thought on graphic design is one of my favorites white space (a.k.a. empty space)…..ahhhh…. It truly is a beautiful thing! In today’s world there are so many messages out there that are visually cluttered with cool effects, layers, colors, etc. Sometimes the very words that are most important, the ones that need to be seen, get lost in the midst of all the cool effects. Create a message with more white space and guess what…your words are seen, read and if done well, will serve to inspire others to act.

When working with white space, you have to be creative; use powerful elements in the space. One way to achieve that is through the use of fonts. Seriously, just seeing all the fonts in a font foundry make me giddy! I love finding an awesome font, adding it to my library and waiting patiently for the perfect project to use it in. Of course you have to exercise restraint and use the fonts sparingly and in the right application…use more than 2-3 styles in one piece and you risk ending up with a junkyard of type, where your message becomes buried. Working with fonts brings me to the next thing I love about graphic design – breaking the rules! Be bold and try new things, especially with type. Know which fonts interact best with each other, work with size and color to create unity within a multi-font piece.

Lastly, taking all the above into consideration, what I love about graphic design is the ability to be original. Taking words, a vision or idea given to you by someone else and turning it into a tangible piece of design that will inspire others is very refreshing. Seeing the completion of one project spurs energy and imagination into the next, building momentum as you go forward. Carriying that momentum from project to project helps me love what I do and continue to do what I love!

For all those not in design, what speaks to you most when looking at printed/digital pieces? For all you designers out there…are there other thoughts you would include on this list?