A Graphic Designer is only as successful as their portfolio and client list. When applying to jobs, a designer relies heavily on their talent and skills on the computer, sometimes the interview is not even close to the top of the list. Designers are constantly using inspirations and influences to create new pieces of work, drawing a fine line between originality and design plagiarism. We strive to please our target audiences and clients, to solve communication problems effectively, to convey information in an aesthetically pleasing way and aim to persuade through the medium of print. These are some of the reasons that Graphic Design is a prime example of “techne”, the Greek root for technology and refers to the art or craft of writing. It is the “set of rules or method of making or doing, whether of the useful arts, or of the fine arts.” Similar to writing, designers get anxiety just staring at that all intimidating blank screen. The ability to produce pieces of work and solve communication problems at the same time from that blank document is an art that can only be mastered through years of practice. What designers use to produce art are of a vast variety, starting with pen and pencil, leading to multiple design applications, they may include photography or original artwork and finally the actual material or medium that they print on. All while doing this, designers must also remember visual principles and semiotics to abide by. This includes but is not limited to; color scheme, typography (kerning, leading, etc.), hierarchy, overall layout and visual cohesiveness if it is a series.
A designer’s attention to detail is very important, for example, if they are creating an ad campaign to raise awareness about obesity and use a color palette including red and yellow, it will work against them. This is because when those two colors are together, they induce hunger, which is why many popular fast food companies use these in their branding. Symbols may also alter a designer’s original intentions, for example, Seattle’s best coffee rebranded from a classic coffeehouse logo to a minimalistic, modern identity system. This was quite controversial because they were criticized for going from a warm, comforting look to something that looks very similar to a blood drive, due to the use of color and symbolism.
Keeping in mind not only the overall look as the first impression but also the fine details that could completely alter your entire message of the piece, it takes a craftsman, a rule follower and a risk taker, a designer to create the “techne” of Graphic Design.