10 Mulish Myths About Graphic Design, Busted!

“By night one way, by day another. This shall be the norm until you find true…” sense to it all.

The graphic design industry is concentrated and competitive yet lucrative. This is why there are a lot of chances of miscommunication and misunderstanding but if you master the tricks then you can crown yourself.

Being a part of this thriving industry, I know the behind-the-camera stories, perceptions, and practices. Things are not always sugar-coated or have a silver lining; sometimes you have to accept the reality and suck it up. However, if you know how to work your way around these things then, well life get so much better!

MYTHS IN DESIGN INDUSTRY

Since the graphic design industry is HUGE, often you find yourself encircled with myths and rumors that create a bad impression or cause confusions. Worry not, here are a few myths you need to pull yourself away from.

1) Graphic design is the easiest thing to learn and earn from.

Many people believe that designing is a walkover, especially graphic design and logo design. They do a short course, manipulate stock vectors, and work on crowd-sourcing websites to work for as low as $10/hour or $5/logo.With such a money-oriented mindset, the purpose is only to grab cash instead of truly acknowledging the beauty and power of graphic designing.

Busted: Graphic design is challenging. You need to be: a) adept at design software and tools, b) need to know the history and evolution of design, c) be updated about design trends and styles, d) understand the creative brief and plan accordingly, e) solve problems with innovative and engaging ideas using visual communication elements and techniques.

This is just the peak of the iceberg, there’s so much more! So the formula for design isn’t as simple as easily learn = easy earn.

2) Copy the work of other designers as long as you change it a bit.

This is a prevalent psyche of many “so-called” designers who use shortcuts to get their projects done. They use a number of existing images and vectors from all over the web to create something like a poster, brochure or even logo design.

Busted: You can’t use copyright art/design work otherwise if it gets noticed you’ll face legal notices and hefty fines. It all gets really messy after that, so it’s better to read the policy of use.

This said, you can use stock images (if you have an account) or free-to-use commercial illustrations but where the hell is your design sense and skill then?

3) A graphic designer should also know how to design a website.

Some clients and employers assume that a graphic designer should have the knowledge and skill to design a website. This is mostly because they don’t want to spend separately on a web designer, so they try and pull out as much work as they can from one professional.

Busted: It’s not necessary that a graphic designer should know web design unless it his/her passion, hobby or an extra credential. If you’re hiring graphic designers make sure to not be cheap enough to pay them for one position and expect work of two.

In case you want to hire one individual with both graphic design and web design skills then pay well and don’t over-burden. Be fair at least.

4) Logo design doesn’t take much time because it’s such a small thing.

I am sure any designers reading this will agree that some clients pass such annoying comments when they’re assigning a project or when the work is complete. Graphic designer Paula Scher puts it right, “It took me a few seconds to draw it, but it took me 34 years to learn how to draw it in a few seconds.”

Busted: To create a custom logo design with an original concept and creativity takes at least one to three days. Some designers can hurry it up and create logos in fewer days, perhaps because they’re faster at it or they’re breaking rules.

You, as a client, need to make sure that the professional designer you’re hiring has design ethics as well as aesthetics.

5) Anyone can become a graphic designer as long as they know the software.

You truly want to believe that one day you will say you’re a graphic designer, and you’ll be. Well, if you don’t have any certified education or professional experience then I am afraid you’re living in an ignorant bubble.

Busted: Being a graphic designer isn’t about simply know how to operate the design software. You need to come up with ideas, derive a concept, and implement the right techniques with “good” aesthetics and kickass functionality.

If you want to be a graphic designer then first learn what the heck it is about. Anyone can bunch the flowers but not anyone can arrange them. At least do an online graphic design course from a credible platform if nothing else.

6) Support team need not know about graphic design, that’s not their job.

For some reason, many support persons catering their services to graphic design agencies think that they don’t need to know about the subject or the industry. All they think they should know is how to communicate.

Busted: If you’re clueless about what to communicate then your communication skills are absolutely useless because you won’t be able to become a successful link between the client and the designer.

A piece of basic knowledge about graphic design will help you convey the messages of clients to designers and vice versa. It will avoid confusions and misunderstandings.

7) Graphic Designers are nothing without software. It’s their magic wand.

Most people think that when a person learns how to navigate and use the industry software, he or she instantly possess the power to make amazing designs. This is actually a mindset that’s developed in the mind of those who are unaware of graphic design evolution.

Busted: Software is only there to assist you in executing your ideas. Before and even today, many graphic designers start off their designing process with paper and pencil — the classic combo for artists and designers.

While the software helps you turn your imagination into reality, it can’t generate concepts for you. It is up to the user how he/she uses the tool.

8) Graphic designers are just skilled workers who do what the client says.

For some reason, clients think that graphic designers are only their subordinates who are supposed to do and to make exactly what the client wants. Because of this many branding and marketing designs are either ruined or are not designed to their potential.

Busted: Graphic designers are not simply skilled workers. They are idea creators with the ability to put it to test. You can’t stand on their heads with an autocratic behavior, instead, they need the freedom to flourish.

In fact, it is a wrong approach to life if you think that the person doing anything for you has no brain of his or her own. You need to give people space and leniency to express.

9) Don’t need to pay a lot to designers, they’re visualizing what we want.

Some companies and clients willing to hire graphic designers at the lowest cost possible. They assume that since the brand already exists, all the designer has to do is embellish their identity with a few things that can be easily done on the computer. For this reason, a designer doesn’t need to be paid a lot.

Busted: Giving a visual identity to your brand is not a piece of cake! There is an investment of time, effort and creativity involved. The least you could do is pay the graphic designer a median if not a fortune.

If you give the designer the right amount of salary to create designs for you, then he or she will be motivated to produce good work for you.

10) Editing designs is no biggie, it takes a jiffy to do so keep giving revisions.

There is a belief that editing a design isn’t hard work, and also that its okay to give unlimited revisions to clients. For this reason, everyone is stuck in a cycle of recreating and at the end all are exhausted, frustrated and clueless.

Busted: Business owners, managers, and designers themselves fail to realize that each edit is a waste of time and each revision is devaluing your services and creativity.

The main idea is to make a good design that successfully delivers the message and connects with the audience. Just make sure no one forces the edit part of the process.

This kind of thought process deeply influences client-designer relationship and it’s up to the team players how they want the game to end.

Have you busted a graphic design myth? Share it here.

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Aamina Suleman

Aamina Suleman

A pareidolia craving creativity.

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