Recently, someone asked me what I like about being a graphic designer. My wheels started spinning because there are so many reasons. Besides the fact that I’m obsessed with color and typography, design, in my humble opinion, affects almost every aspect of our lives. Design is not just about making things look pretty (although, that is part of it). Design is about functionality, making things work or read a certain way so anyone can understand.
For instance, have you ever seen a parking sign that had so many words and symbols on it you couldn’t read at a quick glance if you’re allowed to park there? That’s because the sign was poorly designed. What about a door that says “Push” but has a pull handle? Bad design. Or the image above where the insect poison and cooking spray look the same?
Very. Bad. Design. I’m all for brand consistency, but that’s just dangerous.
Remember in 2015 when Steve Harvey announced the wrong name for the winner of Miss Universe? Look at the card he was reading from…
At first glance, it’s a bit confusing. And whether the card was the reason for the screw up or not, there probably would have been a lot less confusion if the card was more appropriately designed and laid out.
Poor design leads to confusion, frustration, and even embarrassment in Steve Harvey’s case. If your brand is associated with flawed design or faulty functionality, it could cost you, in more ways than one. I think good design often gets overlooked because it does what it’s supposed to do: deliver the right message or function properly. As a designer, I constantly try to be more aware of what good design looks like and how it functions, and can appreciate it more.
Being a designer is both a blessing and a curse. I flip through a magazine, and I don’t look at the pictures or read the articles. I applaud the layout, column, and grid structure. I buy certain products over others because I like the packaging design. And I can’t go to a restaurant without admiring or gawking at the typography and hierarchy on the menu (it’s a sickness, really).
Putting my design-related OCD aside, I love being a designer because design impacts our lives positively or negatively every day, and I want to be a part of creating positive experiences. I’m relatively new here at bloomfield knoble, but I’m glad to be a part of a team that supports and understands the intricacies and importance of good design.