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Design is a Calling

Design is one of the most perplexing pursuits in which to excel. Besides the need for talent, the designer must contend with vast amounts of information, a seemingly endless stream of opinions and the day-to-day problems of discovering a new idea. Yet as a profession, it is relatively easy to enter, unlike those of architecture and engineering, it requires no accreditation; not that accreditation is always meaningful in the Arts. It entails no authorization from official institutions as do the legal or medical professions. This is true of other businesses, like marketing and market research – There’s no set body of knowledge that must be mastered by the practitioners. Yet, what the designer and the client have in common is a license to practice without a license.

Ideas, which are the designer’s raison d’être, are not produced by chance or on the spur of the moment. Ideas are the lifeblood of any form of meaningful design or communication. But good ideas have a way of materializing only when and where they choose—in the shower or subway, in the morning or middle-of-the-night. As if this weren’t enough, and infinite number of people, with or without ulterior motives must scrutinize and pass on the designer’s ideas. Most of these people, in management or otherwise, have no design back- ground. They are not professionals who have the credentials to approve or disapprove the work of the professional designer, yet of course they do. There are rare exceptions—lay people who have an instinctive sense of design. Interestingly, these same people leave design to the experts.

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