Design is measured like a rubber band

There is a fantastic article over on Get Finch, Dear Designer, You Aren’t That Special.

I confess I don’t spend as much time as I ought thinking about my profession, I often just do.

I think that the senior designer that I have the privilege of working with is a great example of humility in design. She has a patient understanding that incorporates meaning and creativity without obsessing and getting caught up in her own idea of what is good while still producing solid and atheistically beautiful work that communicates exactly as intended.

After having worked as a designer in a studio for 9 short months I feel as if my design has grown mostly in its depth of understanding of purpose. Certainly I’ve learnt some handy shortcuts along the way – but honestly these are things you can learn by watching youtube. Being in the studio environment brings a new experience of possibility and idea and approach. I think my design in my time so far at Blick has tightened up and lost some of the extraneous waffle.

I don’t consider myself the type of (stereotypical) creative, where raw talent is aesthetic and artistic (I wish!). It definitely more about creating order. I struggle a little with the reality that I’d rather write a list than draw a picture – it doesn’t seem right. But I can still do this job and I think do this job quite well.

I love the fact that design is about communication and in many ways about order (or controlled chaos). The aesthetic stuff is a glorious bonus. The fact that you can design a business card with 5-odd different finishes (eg. embossing, foiling) and not have it come out frumpy aunty amazes me.

In the studio this week we have up a quote about Creativity being about making connections with things that are seemingly unconnectable. This in itself connects deeply to my view of the Kingdom of God and I guess leaves some avenues open for me to consider where some of this stuff – these skills – these things I am trained in, fit in to connecting the seemingly unconnectable throughout my life and world.

“Design is not a chaotic expression, it’s a measured approach to creation.”

Something I didn’t understand when I left uni about working in design is about how much time factors into the work-life of being a designer. Creativity on command is the black x against reason but the reality is that jobs have timelines and budgets. As you learn to measure time and work to a schedule you learn to measure your own design. How much is too much? When do you pair back? Where do you start? Throwing an idea on paper (or screen) is useless unless there is intention and thought behind why something is where it is. This kind of design in many ways suits me, despite at times being frustrating and restrictive.

Yet. Working in an environment where there is people to throw ideas at, to get realistic and honest feedback means that this design, this order gets manipulated enough for the space to grow creativity (as it is typically understood). I caught myself the other day where I had let go of my typical ways of approaching designing for a particular format, I tried something braver than my usual habitual ways – the design was freer and better for it.

There are two things that are wonderful for design. Constraint and the recognition that design is as much about the people and space around you. We need to be aware in order to work out these obscure connections and make them seamless.

Another great article: 4 Types of Creatives

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