Today I found out I am a unicorn.
No, I’m not prancing around in rainbows and glitter. I am a Graphic Designer, and it seems, not many people understand what we do, and the ones who do are as rare as the proverbial.
I have had an online business directory try and sign me up for a week or so. I was interested in hearing how I could gain business from the business directory. The conversation about the best category for my company to feature in came up quite quickly. The directory rep knew precisely where to put me, under web design. I don’t design websites.
I explained that I’m a Graphic Designer. I design logos, brochures, exhibition graphics, reports, in fact, anything that is visually engaging and falls within a companies marketing.
After a bit of digging, and establishing I don’t make large relief signs that go on the outside of buildings, or laser cut out logos to go on display or do PR, or print brochures, it was clear there was nowhere on this directory for me.
Of course, this isn’t the first time, and I am sure won’t be the last time, someone doesn’t understand what Graphic Designers do. Want a brochure: go to a printer; want some leaflets doing speak to a photographer (yes this has happened); need a logo, ask your friend’s mum who did a good drawing of your neighbours cat (yes, and this one!).
So, what do Graphic Designers do?
In short, we take information and through magic (and graphic design skills), present the information, in an attractive, easier to digest, memorable way. We present companies and brands visually, so their customers can understand their offering. We make sure important information is easily digestible, so the public is informed and not confused, whether that be a public health leaflet, or signage (in a legible font) to get you somewhere.
In short, if you need anything for your business that falls under marketing, speak to a Graphic Designer first. Once they have designed what you need, they WILL know the Printer; the Web Developer; the Signage company; the Photographer; the Videographer; the Exhibition Builder; the Marketer to write your marketing strategy in the first place; and the PR person to shout about how the campaign rolled out.
You will save yourself lots of time, and hey, you might spot a unicorn!
I am always ranting on about how graphic design is more than using photoshop (and any other programmes you can think of). Finally I have found a video that shows you what I mean. Created by lynda.com it shows what tools we had to use before computers came along to create print ready artwork.
I’m not going to wax lyrical about how things were better before computers, because I don’t believe things were. There were better smells: PMT camera film, fluids, inks, spray mount and countless other solvents and sprays (I wasn’t a glue sniffer, honestly).
Things took longer, so in my opinion you were more considered and designers were better problem solvers. When it takes a day to get your type back from the setters before you can put it in your artwork, you tend to make sure things are just so. No rubbing out on the computer and changing it every 5 minutes.
So, here’s to nostalgia, let’s take a look back in time (to as late as the early 1990s, can you believe that!) and if you never worked in a studio at this time, then I do think you missed out but maybe I have those rose tinted glasses on again:
I don’t think there is a person out there who hasn’t been touched by advertising designed by Sir John Hegarty. He is quite frankly a creative genius.
Today I stumbled across this article about Sir John in Director.co.uk
There are some real words of wisdom in this, not only for the designers amongst us but for all business people.
My favourite quotes from the article:
“Great creative people are outsiders. They’re always looking in and observing, commenting and reflecting, wondering how it could be better. As soon as you’re part of something, you’re compromised by it.”
“When a brand is in trouble, go back to its soul. If a brand drifts away from its basic principles it becomes vague, flaccid, nobody understands it. The answer lies in – what made it great? Why was it so successful? Go back to its roots.”
I found this article today (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-27879430) from the BBC about the profusion of temporary Brazil themed brands.
It’s a good read, but the real story should be the plight of the poor graphic designers called upon to deliver another batch of stereotypical graphics.
Let’s give them a moment of quiet contemplation.
We were asked recently to put together a brochure outlining some case studies, with a portfolio of work (with letters from the clients proving we actually did the work). We are quite pleased with it so have uploaded it as an online brochure, and here it is click here
Last summer was all about Daft Punk and ‘Get lucky’, so to relive those disco moments, why not buy the merchandise.
With these super stylish adverts, in a 70’s style, to convince you then why not! We absolutely love them here, and to read more about them have a look at thisIts Nice That blog post.
Now lets dance!