As a designer in the realm of broadcast media and a lifelong learner in the field of graphic design I have been tasked with communicating messages that are clear, impactful and meet the needs of the client. Throughout the realm of design is the quote that “Good Design is Invisible.” Having come to adopt this philosophy of fully integrated design there leaves the question of where the designer fits into the bigger picture. I agree it is the designer’s job to more or less fade into the background. However, I’m starting to wonder about the emotional impact on the designer as the invisible component. While good design is invisible–how do we not feel invisible as the designer?
In order to create meaningful work, it is important to be personally invested in it. While I’m not suggesting that we have to live for work, as not all jobs are the dream jobs we want them to be, I am suggesting that we search for those things, which feed our passions and provide us with personal motivation to do better and to be better. Everything we do is a reflection of who we are and design is no different. Our digital culture speaks volumes about the ways in which we communicate, how we receive information and the relationships we cultivate.
In studying the adoption of emotional intelligence in interactive design there is a great deal to learn about the user. While it is our job to find the motivations of the target market I have begun to think about the lack of writing there is on the psychological components of the designer. What would make us as the design community better? While we are all accustomed to the critiquing of our work there is just as much room for the advancement of a positive designer identity. I encourage all to take a brief moment to tap into their soft side and explore the notion that designers have feelings too.
When we finish a design we give it life and let it go out into the world around us. The design life is something that is difficult to predict the longevity of and because of the nature of our environment we are always looking for the next wave, the next trend and the next product to follow. It is important to know ourselves just as we know our consumers. We also consume and feed our own hunger with new ideas.
Being a designer is a challenging job. It is a field where creativity catches up with the bottom line. With expectations for constant innovation and improvement, many young designers too often get caught up in the spin cycle of creative burnout. Taking the time to step back, look at the bigger picture and assess our goals is crucial.
So how to we keep creating the work that we are proud of along with maintaining the mindset feeling valued in situations where we are the invisible creator?
Here are a few that I find to be key.
1. Maintain a positive attitude in yourself and your work.
2. Feed your passions. If you are not doing what you want now, start doing it on your own.
3. Read. Read anything and everything. Find connections in places where you thought there were none.
4. Create a strong social network.
5. Set short-term and long-term goals.
6. Accept your present and challenge your future.
7. Do not submit to failure.
What else do you find important in navigating through a creative career?