Tuesday, March 10, 2015

doctor, doctor, give me the news

I will share with you my medical expertise.

Well, that just about covers it. That's all I know based on the years I did not attend medical school. My vast knowledge that came from no long hours as an intern, working diligently in the emergency room. I also have the same amount of knowledge of the legal industry, the automotive industry, accounting, real estate, home repair and investment banking. Gosh, I don't know shit!

Actually, there is a field that I do know. I know design. That's right. I am a graphic designer. That's a fancy title for "artist" given to me by a bunch of corporate types who have to give fancy titles to everything, especially those things they don't understand.

I have been a professional graphic designer for over thirty years. ("Professional" in that someone has paid me for my work and services. Someone who isn't related to me.) I have had many jobs in those years, some full-time and some on a freelance basis. I have designed invitations, textbooks, window signage, menus, advertisements, concert posters, and even a character mascot costume. I have watched the tools of my trade go from ink-dipped pens, paint brushes and T-squares to multiple versions of computer programs (some long outdated).

Designing is no easy task. It is actual work. It's no different from the vocations mentioned above. I didn't say more important. I merely put it in the same category because it is, indeed, work. While I do enjoy my work, make no mistake — it is work. It brings me satisfaction as well as frustration and when I get home, I want to distance myself from it for a brief period of time, until I return to my job the next morning. Just like you. Well, most of you, anyway.

Contrary to what non-designers may think, graphic design requires a lot of experience, thought, talent and skill. Nothing — I repeat — nothing is done haphazardly. Conscious decisions are made as far as selection of typefaces, colors. color combinations, placement of elements, size relationships, focal points, presentation, visual impact. (Wow, Josh! Who knew there were so many separate considerations that go into a design? Are you kidding? Those are just off the top of my head!) Look, I don't pretend to know the difference between cephalalgia and corpus delicti and, I honestly don't want to know. There are experts for stuff like that. Just like there are experts in design whose opinions and experience should be trusted.

So why do so many of those who make their living in those occupations listed above feel they know my job better than I know my job? How can someone deem themselves knowledgeable in a field in which they have had no training and no work experience? Why would someone who went to medical school or law school or any school but art school feel qualified to claim graphic design expertise?

Beats me, but the artist doctor will see you now.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of my life-long beefs too. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, and since we've all been told that art is "subjective" that must mean there isn't a "right" answer -- but sometimes there are right answers, and the pros are good at finding them because they have the training and experience.