Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Being a Designer


Hello, Being a designer is both hard work and rewarding. Most, if not all designers are qualified to varying degrees, and have spent either long, or short periods of their careers working in house for established design studios, advertising studios and other creative departments. I am guessing that most designers also have a natural propensity for all things creative, usually able to conjure fantastical drawings from a blank piece of paper, and turn a hand to any type of creative endeavour, with a flourish. This is the case for Crum's team members. Take for example myself, John, the MD, Senior Art Director and chief tea maker (everyone else likes my tea best, so I get the job)  I believe I was born creative, Its in my genes don't you know. I quickly realised (beginning in primary school) that people liked my drawings and designs. By the time I had finished secondary school I was well on the way to a career in some form of art and design. I attended a local art school at 17, and by the time i was 21 I was attending my first degree  BA (Hons) Graphic Design/illustration and animation, at Liverpool John Moores university. Later I gained my MA Degree at Manchester Metropolitan University. So, as you can see to begin as a designer, it is advised to be educated to the highest level in the subject, it also helps if you have  natural ability and an eye for detail. I have been employed as a designer and illustrator and also  in business as a professional illustrator and designer, at various times in my life, very necessary to develop my skills and knowledge. I am now in my early fifties, and thought it about time to actually create my own design business. My knowledge and skill set has grown, through education and hands on real life producing design and illustration for clients. It has also guided the breadth of my focus, I have been interested in many facets of design. I have specialised on occasion, the most recent being illustration. however. I have always returned to a multi disciplinary approach. Thus, the need for a fully functioning design studio, that caters for every conceivable design outcome,

To design is to draw upon many facets of an individuals natural abilities, creative reasoning, along with a multitude of technical, and rule based paradigms. There is a whole library of literature available on the theoretical aspects of art and design, and another extensive library on the whole history of art and design. All are made available in an in-depth capacity when you become part of an education system. Of Course it is possible to learn some of the theoretical content online, however, many believe it best to gain the fundamental base of knowledge from a traditional university. Technology has opened  up design for everyone that is able to access a computer with an internet facility. All the technology that was once only the preserve of the privileged few, is now mainstream , with universal accessibility. The Design industry is now saturated, there are more untrained individuals than ever, working alongside all the qualified designers.  So much choice, but what about quality, a good designer stands out, from the crowd, not only do  they have the professional credentials, but they also possess a marked, quality bias. 

So, you have talent, you are qualified to the highest levels, and you are multidimensional, both technically and creatively. Unfortunately you cant rest on your laurels just yet, a designer must also have the ability to put on many hats simultaneously. Each discipline requires an in-depth knowledge of the industry standard Adobe suites many job specific differentials, and usually many other apps working alongside. I personally work with the Adobe Suite. Z brush, modo, and  blender, Corel painter, and Autodesk sketch, along with varying aspects of other smaller related apps, there is a huge  creative arsenal at your disposal, and you have to become more than capable in each. 

Finding New customers is a skill that many creatives find difficult, Marketing and PR dont come naturally to the average creative. Yet, wearing a marketing business hat is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business, and so it is worth investing time into harnessing the relevant skill set. There are a million companies out there offering numerous marketing packages all proclaiming vast differences to your online sales, however, like everything in life there are ways to help yourself with marketing, instead of spending vast amounts of money. Do your research, there are cost effective ways out there. Social media of course is a great start and regular posting is a must, you can sign up to many online platforms that will schedule posts for you. You also need to utilise paid advertising, with many of the social networks offering advertising. lastly, along side these regular marketing endeavours, you should also use email marketing, and traditional mailing. You can find many list providers online. Crum uses Bikini Lists, for example.

Conversing with colleagues  and your customers in a professional manner, is another necessary skill. Enabling your clients  to feel relaxed, to be able to listen effectively to the brief, and to explain how the design process will work to realise the brief are important for your success. Being able to fulfil the brief  imaginatively  and expertly is paramount. Gaining exposure and completing projects timely, and professionally, will in turn, gain you access to good reviews. This in turn gets the ball rolling and hopefully produces a steady stream of returning customers. 

The Zob image above is taken from a german underway. The term Zob (Zentraler Omnibus Bahnhofis) a german term for the local bus station. In its self it is interesting in its tone of voice, and the language it originates from. The typeface is interesting, and the whole design of the environment is aesthetically pleasing. The design structure is also interesting, with the dynamic lines of the background, adding to the over all effect. Being a designer is about being aware of your surroundings, finding inspiration from man made things as well as the natural environment and should be a constant preoccupation.


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