BY AARON KVARFORDT
The old adage “do what you’ll love, and you’ll never work another day in your life” seems cliche, but it rings true for those of us who are living it. I’ve always been drawn to making my imagination a reality. Whether I’m working with amazing clients or tinkering on weekend side projects, I love the challenge each one presents and the various ways to go about solving them. Here are the top three things I love about being a graphic designer.
1. The Process
Documenting the process is an extremely valuable tool for any graphic designer. Oftentimes, people outside the industry aren’t informed about what we do as graphic designers. We deal with the misconception that design is simply a visual picture, when in truth, design is a culmination of research, time, and expertise used to create handcrafted solutions. Showing the process and results of a project allows for growth and can help create repeatable results, not only for your own work, but for others as well. The process provides a behind-the-scenes look at how ideas come to fruition and evolve into an end product that serves a purpose — and, better yet, solves a problem.
2. Posture of a Student
The beautiful thing about being involved in an industry that is constantly changing is the ability to learn, and I’m not talking about the traditional route of a “formal” education. Outside of the classroom there are plenty of outlets to learn from (workshops, online tutorials, books, local organizations, etc.). This not only pertains to new techniques and tools of the trade but also to those of the past. To be in the posture of a student is to be curious about trying new things and willing to accept that failure is just a part of the process. It’s how we learn and grow.
3. Not the Same Old Thing
Let’s face it: repetition is boring. As a graphic designer, or any type of creative for that matter, going into the day working on the same thing over and over is like running on autopilot. Graphic design consists of a wide variety of work and clients. One day, you could be working on brand strategy/positioning for a small, family-owned business and the next be checking proofs for packaging to be distributed nationwide. Even though they may be in the same industry or have relatively the same scope, no two projects are alike. Each project has its own parameters, goals, ideas, and solutions that make every day an exciting challenge.
Simply put, graphic design is the communication of ideas through visual storytelling. For me, it’s about the process of turning ideas into reality, learning through trial and error, and refining the craft. Although at times it can be challenging — and it should be — I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s what I love about being a graphic designer.