Better Graphic Design by Maria Acosta

A short, interesting article by Maria Acosta.

The article “Better Graphic Design” by Maria Acosta is a refreshing heads-up to graphic designers who live clinging to the idea that their work is in any significant way about them.

She suggests, in a pleasant and unconfrontational style, that the graphic design ship is sinking and that designers who cling to their old methods are sure to drown.

Acosta points to two problems that lie at the root of this significant change in the design industry:

  1. The first is that graphic designers are often expected to produce original and creative works by clients who think that these admirable traits alone will solve their problems. She points out that these traits are nice to have in any design, but they are not a guarantee that the design solves the business problem that the designer was hired for: communicating a specific message.
  2. The second, she suggests, is that there is not enough distinction between “artists” and “graphic designers”. She claims this results because too many graphic designers consider themselves as artists, when “nothing could be further from reality”. She likens artists to “problem tellers” and graphic designers to “problem solvers”.

It’s not every day that you hear a graphic designer talking like this. Her view–I tend to agree with it–is that the primary job of the graphic designer is not to instill the design with their own expression, but to visually express the message of the project. Though Acosta didn’t suggest it explicitly, I think that this goes for design on the Web as well.

Read her article: Better Graphic Design

Published: January 13th, 2005

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