I am a designer means being able to grab something that makes a mark and using it to explore a way to produce something that can tell a story with words or pictures. My hands are the magic makers in my design, drawing is one of the things you used to need to do any sort of design, but now its all about technology! When I progressed to university I wasn’t asked if I could draw and I didn’t understand why until the first year started where the big thing was ‘How good are you in Illustrator?’ I’d never used the thing how was I to know?
I want to use this manifesto to talk about what I believe design should be about. I want to explain the things I like to incorporate into my own work and the things I need to think about with projects ongoing and in the future.
Drawing is the starting point in anything! Think of a word and make a mark and see where it takes you. Start small and work you way up. Don’t spend all day on one drawing, do it quick, don’t just use a pencil, you would be surprised how much you can find to start your mark off with!
Communicate through your work. If you can’t tell what your work is trying to say, the odds are no one else can, so what the point? You don’t just need to use words, pictures work just as good, in my eye its the pictures that speak louder than words.
Being enthusiastic is always a good thing. If you don’t like what your doing then it likely that will show in your work. Don’t think of a commissioned piece as a job, think more along the lines that this is your own little project, so make it your project, then it will turn out exactly to the point without skipping the insignificant bits you now know aren’t as insignificant as you thought originally.
Be curious and ask questions. They say ‘curiosity killed the cat’ but did it really? Why cant we be curious? Surly being curious will lead to new things! I don’t recall my curiosity got me into trouble, its always helped me to discover things I am very glad I found.
Research helps. Use what you have already and go looking for it. What your looking for could be just around the corner. Pick up your camera and take a walk. I once had to photograph organic and manmade objects that represented each word of the alphabet. Even in a tree’s bark an image can click in your head. Don’t forget to always look up, things are not always at eye level.
Have fun. Sitting in silence at a desk to me does not sound like it could be very inspiring. I like to have some sort of music or film on when I am working on my projects. That one lyric or one line could be the thing you’ve been waiting for so use it.
Try to find your own personal style. It will be something that will stand out more than the rest. Like a signature but it won’t be written. Choose that little technique u enjoy using and use it to personalize your work where you can.
Meeting a deadline is defiantly a plus. Try to push yourself that little bit further so you can have some time left over. Use that time to get your proof prints or even improve on your work. You don’t want to look like an idiot by having a spelling mistake on the first page.
Be playful with your work. don’t just use the typical connotations and have things in boxes and straight. Portrait and landscape are not bad but a little tilt could be a bit fun and different. Try not to be a stereotype. Work outside the box and you will get noticed.
The development stage is always the fun part. You get to look at your excising ideas and choose the ones that could stand out the best. The first ideas is never the best! Play with different colours, move things about, make them bigger or even smaller. I find this is the time to really push the boat, where I like to try the new things or find new things and use them to improve on something that initially wasn’t looking its best.
Reach for the sky. Explore your limits without pushing them too far. You cant have a piece of work being over complicated, sometimes simple is it’s better. If you try to cram too much on one sheet of paper it will end up being a blur.
An explosion isn’t always a bad thing, and when it comes to colour it could come in handy. Think more of a rainbow and how the colours flow. Use this to liven up your work. I went through a black and white phase, not that it was bad but even when I added just one other colour it made the work 10 times better, it was more readable and it turned out that one colour was more eye catching for the piece.
The font you chose can have a massive impact on your work. I never really thought about type until I got to university. Now it can take me the longest time to find one that fits in with the theme or style of my piece. You don’t have to use a typeface that you can find in your desktop. Explore the curves and lines on paper. Hand draw type is always fun because its yours and you can make it how you want.
So, to sum it, make it your own. Try to be different because there is no such thing as original now. Your signature is the key to being a designer, if you can’t make it your own, then don’t make it at all.
I am JodieT Design, a brand, a person, a passion, a explorer, a drawer.
I AM A DESIGNER