What makes a Designer a Designer?

Design is a multifaceted field that encompasses many different families of design. From graphic design to industrial design, there are many ways to be a designer. Each type having its own unique set of skills and expertise. Graphic designers specialize in visual communication, while industrial designers focus on designing physical products. Some designers focus on concept and ideation, while others obsess over the feasibility constraints, and some are more concerned with the aesthetic and the overall look and feel of their work.

It is important to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all definition of what a designer is, and that many stereotypes tries to put them in boxes. But being one, what would you answer a person that asked you « What makes you a designer? »

The first stereotype : always a pen in the hand.

Some designers are always thinking of new ideas and sketching out concepts. They are constantly iterating and refining their ideas, trying to come up with the next big thing. These designers are often seen as very entrepreneurial, and they may start their own companies or work for startups.

The second stereotype : the never ending story.

Some designers are more concerned with the details of design than the big picture. They will obsess over every aspect of a product, from materials and the color palette to the spacing between elements. They are seen as perfectionists, and they will not rest until everything is just right.

The third stereotype : make it beautiful.

Some designers are more concerned with the aesthetic and the overall look and feel of their work. They are very deliberate about the products they choose to use and the way they present themselves to the world. They are often very opinionated, and they will not settle for anything less than beautiful, or at least what is in there own eyes.

Those are just some « clichés » one can encounter in its career, and as « clichés » you will find some to be true in some extent. But you shouldn’t let them define you completely nor should you define others by those « standards ». One creative can be, and will be many things during his life.

Fiction Vs Reality

Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to showcase the best parts of our lives. Unfortunately, this can lead to unrealistic expectations and a skewed perception of reality. When it comes to the daily life of a designer, social media often portrays a world that is filled with glamour, creativity, and inspiration. Designers are shown working in beautiful spaces, surrounded by the latest technology and the most stylish furnishings. They are often seen collaborating with other creatives, attending networking events, and traveling to exotic locations. While this may be true for some designers, it is not the reality for most. Remember that social media presences are highly curated, you only see what people want you to see and how they want you to see it.

In reality, the daily life of a designer is often much less glamorous than what is portrayed on social media. Designers spend most of their time in front of a computer screen, working on designs, researching, and communicating with clients and colleagues. They may work from home, in a small office, or in a large corporate setting, but this places do not always look like a picture from a deco magazine. Designers need to be flexible and be able to work alone or as part of a team, managing their own ego or the one of others. Regardless of the specifics, their daily routine is often repetitive and requires a great deal of focus and concentration.

Designers also face a number of challenges that are not often talked about. They may struggle with creative blocks, tight deadlines, and difficult clients. Creative persons may have to work long hours, sacrificing their personal time to meet project requirements. Designers may also have to deal with the stress of constantly keeping up with new technologies and design trends.

On the bright side and despite the challenges, being a designer can be a rewarding and fulfilling career. Designers have the opportunity to create something new and unique every day, and to see their ideas come to life. They have the chance to collaborate with other creatives, to learn from their peers, and to share their knowledge with others. They also have the ability to impact the world around them, by creating designs that are functional, beautiful, and meaningful.

Why you shouldn’t leave and breathe Design

Design can be all-consuming. To truly excel at it, many designers feel like they need to be constantly connected to it, always thinking about it, and always striving to improve.

It’s Ok to disconnect

Design is a demanding field. It requires creativity, critical thinking, and a constant willingness to learn and improve. But it’s important to remember that being is just one aspect of your life and should also focus on feeding the rest of you.

You won’t be Less of a Designer

Some people worry that taking time away from design will make them less skilled or less passionate about it. But that’s simply not true.

Taking time away from design can actually be beneficial. It can give you a chance to recharge, gain new perspectives, and come back to your work with fresh ideas. It can give you a chance to gain new skills and insights that you can apply to your work.

Be comfortable with the kind of Designer you are

Design is a broad field, and there are many different approaches and styles that can be successful. It’s important to be comfortable with the kind of designer you are, and not feel pressure to fit into a certain mold.

Whether you’re a minimalist or a maximalist, a traditionalist or a rule-breaker, embrace your unique perspective and let it shine through in your work.

And don’t be a snob!

Designers can be notorious for being snobby and judgmental about design and daily life products. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone has the same design knowledge or experience as you. Don’t dismiss someone’s ideas or work just because it doesn’t meet your standards. Instead, find ways to collaborate and learn from each other.

So what makes you a designer ?

To the designers reading this post, it’s important to remember that being a designer is just one part of who you are, you don’t have to be a « cliché ». Taking breaks and pursuing other interests can actually make you a better designer, and it’s important to be comfortable with the kind of designer you are.

On a personal note, I don’t pictured myself (or at least I no longer do it) as being on the same level as other designers that can spend their day « designing ». I no longer sketch outside of work, unless I woke up in the middle of the night with a bright idea, which to be honest does not happen very often. I have developed a different eye regarding details on products, a less caring eye, after all if it works why fix it? It’s important to lean to accept that something can exist in a state, and that’s it better than no existing at all.

Should those make me feel less of a designer? No, as a human being we are capable of evolving, in our case stepping back and looking at our current situation. After having an internal debate for a long time, I think I’ve come to the point where I’m comfortable with the kind of designer I have become.

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