A DEFINITION OF DESIGN
I have had to let go of many things such as job positions, locations where I lived, and other small comforts but I just noticed that I have never let go of my definition of graphic design. Let me explain.
I graduated high school in 1994 and received my Bachelor's degree in 2000. It is almost the year 2022 and like most things in life, absolutely everything has changed. I began my design career at the time when Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator were in their early single digit versions, Quark Express was the king of layout and our lab computers were beige and referred to as “PowerMacs” and “Macintosh” computers. I stored my designs on ZIP drives and always encountered issues at Kinkos when trying to output a fiery print (remember those?). I don’t think any of us young designers at that time knew how we were supposed to collect fonts and image links. And it wasn’t like Kinkos cared to explain or refund us for the charged amount of time using their computers!
But look at how fast change came just a couple of years later. We had PowerMac G3s, G4s, iMacs, MacOSX, Epson scanners, professional inkjet printers, digital cameras, SD cards and so much more. Twenty years after I graduated from college I have not just seen a staggering amount of change in computing and imaging technology, but also in my personal life. I can’t grow my hair out as much as I used to, I now sport a beard, lost both of my parents, gained a beautiful wife and two spunky daughters, and I became a Zumba instructor. Whew!
But I haven’t let go of my definition of design or allowed it to change. I’ve clung to the idea that proper graphic designers were primarily these type print designers that glossed over the smallest details in a layout, painstakingly choose paper stocks, wore very neutral-colored clothing, and worked in an office setting with a Herman Miller chair. To be honest, I was that type of designer for the first decade of my career and that mostly reflects a style aesthetic and not the true nature of working assignments at all.
Nowadays my jobs vary from product commercial photography to packaging design and a whole lot in between. It’s not so easily definable as it was twenty years ago but it is not supposed to be. What is definable is my ability to adapt and it’s why I am still in the business.
While I do provide design and photography services for my clients the ability to provide them does not define me. Everything is subject to change.