Being a designer means many things to me. As someone who is learning the industry as well as the “how to” portion of design, I am constantly inspired. Design, by definition, is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object, system, or measurable human interaction. For our purposes, however, I will define design as the consideration of aesthetics, functionality, and social dimension of a particular object or idea. Design has different connotations in different fields and industries with a huge variety of purpose. Graphic design in particular focuses on visual communications through line, space, colour, and image. A designer is able to utilize these tools in a situation where they have both purpose and inspiration.
Graphic Design: Purpose and Inspiration
Purpose can come in many forms ranging from a simple hobby to a school project to branding for a new client. The designer needs the desire to actually facilitate the design process, whether that be from passion, money, or mere curiosity. Then comes the inspiration.
For example: from my perspective, I am a freelancer. The design process for me, begins with the assignment of a project with a due date. I have my purpose, my goal, and then follows my inspiration. Some things that inspire me are: colours, shapes, nature, my peers, my role models, and my experiences. However, my inspiration does vary depending on the point of my project at hand. If I am designing something for a client, I am usually inspired by their ideas, requests, company mission/vision, and personnel. If someone comes to me and is extremely specific, my inspiration comes from their instruction. If they have no idea what they want, I am more freely inspired by my own personal taste and opinions.
“You don’t think your way to creative work. You work your way to creative thinking.” –George Nelson
Overall, design can mean anything to anyone, but to me, being a good designer means that you have a purpose, can define a goal, have the means to facilitate the process, and can listen to what inspires you. Never stop creating because guess what, you might even inspire yourself one day.