Quote Posts are thoughts and reflections that come to me when making quote images for social media. There is always a reason why a quote resonates with me, and I decided I wanted to share my observations with you. Many quotes are about design, but some are not, even if applicable to design and designers as well. Would love to hear what you think.

Neville Brody: Digital design is like painting, except the paint never dries.

This quote makes me think of the difference between an artist and a graphic designer, something I always talk about when I teach. I have previously written about how people who draw a lot as children and go on doing it when everybody else stops, tend to end up in “creative” jobs. It is the urge to create that has placed us where we are today. We have all played with shapes and colors, either on a screen or from a tube.

Artists and graphic designers use many of the same abilities and skills; creativity, innovation, fantasy. Both are masters of some kind of creative production and the technical tools required, be it either brushes or pixels.

There is however one very important matter that separates them. While an artist ONLY communicates on behalf of himself and from his own heart, a graphic designer is a visual communicator who is supposed to communicate on behalf of others. An artist does not send his work out on correction-loops, he can create whatever he wants and people may take it or leave it. The job of a graphic designer, however, is to visualize and communicate another person’s message. In co-creation and understanding with the sender, the graphic designer will shape the message in a clear, authentic and professional manner, so it will carry the voice of the sender visually to the people he/she wants to help. This scenario is different than that of the artist.

I have often heard people say that they are looking for a graphic designer who “has a style they like”. This, in my opinion, is starting at the wrong end of things. Rather than looking for someone else’s style, they should try to find the unique personality of their business and a graphic designer who can help them translate it into a visual language, which will become their OWN “style”. This is the entire point of visual branding.