Friday, May 09, 2008

Milton Glaser - "Road to Hell"

" ...Because that is really the issue—what are you willing to do as part of your life as a designer when you are an intermediary between an audience and a client? Is your job simply to respond to everything the client wants, or do you say, “I have a personal responsibility, my sense as a citizen, to make some judgments about the implications of what I’m saying to people...”

Being a designer is more than just making things pretty. It's also, contrary to popular opinion, not the career you pick as a visual artist because it pays. It is not selling out. And it is simply not just selling.

I've been interviewing a lot of fresh-out-of-school grads lately - and this sense of greater definition of what seems like a small word coupled with a sense of social responsibility has been something I have, unconsciously until now, been seeking out. I realize looking back that the candidates I have most wanted on my team are ones who express a deep knowledge and understanding of a wider world and deeper purpose. Who know that as designers our medium is not paper or pen, not computer or mouse, but communication itself.

Story-telling. Dialog. Impetus.

What we're saying and how we're saying it are equally important.

I want to see, in my own work, as well as those I'm evaluating, more than good technique. In fact, the technique can be slightly off if the message is there. I can teach you how to make the perfect composition, I can wrangle mine until it works beautifully . . .but I can't translate for you, I can't explain a message that's not clear and true.

That's the beauty of what we do, I think. The fact that through the use of our multiple tools - through color and line, through font and placement, through a million small decisions we make about a million small things - we can move people. Entice them, tempt them and persuade them. Inform them, educate and spurn them into action.

(TBD - again)

1 comment:

Skye said...

I was reading something recently - may have been Illusion of Life - and the author was talking about gesture drawing and he said something about the important thing being CONVEY THE EMOTION, not draw the person. And that hit me hard and made such sense to me, that I should concern myself with portraying what a character feels more than what he looks like. 'Cause really, unless you relate somehow to a character, why do you CARE what he looks like?!

Plus I like Pretty. And Gentle. And Kind. Ugly and violent and hard and crass hurt me and make the world worse, somehow. I WANT a story and motivation, not just a product forced down my throat.

I can't wait to sit at your feet and listen to you talk about this. Plus I know it's about time that you can't get down to your feet to paint them anymore, so I'm bringing my blue polish for when I'm sitting down there anyway :)