Read the English transcription below!
What does the job of a graphic designer consist of?
A graphic designer is someone who takes ideas or concepts and translates them visually. They must be able to clearly comprehend the need, and then also must be capable of finding the best way of translating the need and communicating the concept efficiently to users/consumers.
In more practical terms, they design anything from brands to posters to magazines to website graphics and so much more.
What training did you do? How did you come to be a designer?
I did a short two year program simply called “Multimedia”. It included many different disciplines such as fine arts, graphic design, 3D modeling, web development etc. Because it was so short, it in a way only scratched the surface of the different subjects. However the advantage of it was that it allowed me to explore a variety of fields that are all parallel and gave me the opportunity to discover what I wanted to later specialize in.
I’d say I learned as much, if not (much) more, outside of school as in it. I started freelancing immediately after that program and that pushed me to learn quickly and use my time and skills efficiently.
What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy the variety. Not only do I get to design and work with different mediums, I also get to work with clients from many different industries. It gives you a good overview of different businesses, what they do and how to properly communicate that to others.
Who do you think are the icons of graphic design?
I don’t really like to think of people as “icons” because I believe an unknown individual can have more skill and a better comprehension of the field than a famous designer. But here are a few that I enjoy:
- Chris Ballasiotes – https://siotes.com/
- Lauren Hom – https://www.homsweethom.com/
- Alexis Taïeb – http://www.tyrsa.fr/
- Brad Cuzen – http://bradcuzen.dribbble.com/
- Simon Beale – https://www.beardedcreativestudio.com/
- Timothy Goodman – https://www.tgoodman.com/
And I think it’s worth mentioning the studios that rebranded Airbnb and Slack too:
- DesignStudio – https://design.studio/work/airbnb
- Pentagram – https://www.pentagram.com/work/slack/story
How do you manage several projects at the same time?
Is this a trick question? Haha
I think it’s just like anything else in life, separating out time to be able to focus on one thing at a time. It’s important to prioritize and dedicate time to each project. This way you can create a mental space where you are focused on the project, it’s subtleties and the priorities of that particular client.
What are the tools you must master to be a designer?
I actually think it’s most important to be able to externalize your thoughts using pen and paper first (or pencil, ink etc.). Then once you’ve communicated your thoughts on paper, you can move to a digital medium.
I personally use the Adobe softwares (Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, XD etc.), but there are others out there that work great too. It all depends on what you’re looking to do.
How would you describe your creative process? How do you deal with a lack of inspiration?
That’s a good question. I think it’s important to distinguish a designer from an artist. Though a designer probably (= almost always) has their own style, it’s good to remember you’re working for clients and you’re really looking to put their needs first. An artist on the other hand, doesn’t usually have a brief or an expressed need, so the lack of inspiration may be more pronounced.
That being said, lack of inspiration does happen and I always start my creative process by looking for inspiration from things that have been done before. Drawing inspiration from the past and the present is the best way to make sure that what you’re designing is relevant, unique and durable.
What’s the most essential information to collect from a client?
Anything they’ll give you! It can be a little bit complicated to decipher what a client is actually looking for. So I try to get as much information as I can from them – even if it’s only “feeling” words, or adjectives. I also try to have them send me designs that they like to try and get in their head.
But there are of course essentials you need to gather from your client depending on what you are designing, like the format, the content, any technical specifications you may need etc.
What do you think is the most crucial step in a graphic design project?
I actually don’t think there is one crucial step. It will depend on the project, the client etc.
What advice would you give to future designers?
Take time to learn what others have done before you. Take time to know what is being done now. You can never get enough inspiration – it’s so important to feed yourself visually. It will not only help you be a well rounded designer but will help you do better work for your clients.
And learn to take criticism. It isn’t personal. It’s such a shame when designers get upset with clients for giving feedback. Recognize that the client is putting their trust in you for the reputation of their company – that’s a lot of responsibility, and a lot of trust on their part!