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I’m Not an Artist

There are different kinds of designers, and the type that I aspire to be is one of the creative problem solving kind. I do artistic things, but I am not an artist. I connect and communicate. I play. I am happy to work within the constraints of time and money. I follow a disciplined approach, working modestly, confidently and diligently on behalf of my clients. A graphic designer uses typography and images to communicate and influence people. Design is a collaborative endeavor. Most artists work alone. Generally speaking, an artist doesn’t use words as context, however contemporary artists, like graphic designers are now using typography, film and photography to engage people in new ways.

Artists are primarily concerned with self expression. As a designer, I’m concerned most about expressing the message and brand of my clients. Years ago, a client asked me “Do you have a style?” In response, I pulled a wide range of work samples that I had completed over several years and spread them across a table and asked, “Well, as you look at all of this, would you know that each work was designed by me?” She responded, “Probably not.” And, I replied, “Well, that’s my intention. My personal style is irrelevant. The style of each project is defined by the client, the audience and the content. And, while the style of each project may vary, I hope that you can look at any example of my work, and if someone said that I designed it, that you would not be surprised.”

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