Why the average person doesn't see design, and why they really shouldn't
As a Graphic Designer, I've made a nice living doing design. And I just love looking at design. I see it everywhere, on the web, at the mall, yep, everywhere. But the vast majority of people out there don't see design at all, and they really shouldn't.
If you're a designer, you see things differently. You see structure, not content, first. That is, you see how something is designed, how the pieces fit together, the color, the texture. Whether it's a poster for Star Wars or a web page selling dog food, it doesn't matter. Design is structure, and juxtaposition.
If you're wondering why people have paid me to do design, and to create something that nobody can really see, you have to step back to understand that mostly it communicates a feeling to people. Think about people's reaction to design. An awesome car makes you feel very cool to drive. An exciting movie poster makes you want to go see the movie. A great website makes you feel confident to click.
When I first started teaching Graphic Design at the Art Institute of Phoenix, I brought in some of my best designs to show what I could do. They included commercial work, like brochures and ads. The person who hired me could see design, but I quickly found out that it just puzzled just about everyone else. What was Graphic Design? What is design? Why do I have a poster advertising a bank on my portfolio? Is the school now selling home equity loans?
Of course, the successful Graphic Design students could see design. Some already knew how, some learned it at school. If you can see design, you're a designer. If you can't, don't worry, you can still feel it.
Posted by Brad Hall