Is everyone a designer?

I read an interesting blog last week by one of my inspirations, Darren Heath, the renowned Formula One photographer.

You can read the piece here, but to summerise, he talks about how modern technology has made it incredibly easy for anyone to have a go at what he has done so very well for many years.

Reading Darren’s blog, and what he eludes to, made me think about experiences through out my career in creative environments, and how what we do is perceived by colleagues, peers and clients.

Speaking generally, as a creative professional, you often have to take opinion or  adjustments to your heartfelt work on the chin.

Your layout or style may not be to the preference of your directors or a client, it may be a slight adjustment, or it maybe an entire re-work.

There are times when this can be frustrating; a piece you have put time and effort into is discarded as easily as a sweet wrapper, purely because of a personal preference.

This has often made me wonder why personal opinion plays such a great part in our industry, as there is often no right or wrong.

If you look at other industries there is often no argument.

Try telling a car mechanic your new tyres needed to be more central, or a plumber how the arrangement of pipes behind your sink didn’t have the right flow.

You wouldn’t tell a builder how to lay bricks…well, you might, but you can probably imagine what the reaction would be.

Yet where the creation of nearly all media is concerned, there is often a lot of extra input from additional parties.

While I understand that what we deal in is subjective in certain ways,  I can’t comprehend how the tried and tested methods or even technical parameters are so misunderstood or disregarded, purely because of a personal preference.

An good example that demonstrates this well, and one that we are all familiar with, is the use of space; A creative will often leave space for focus and visibility, the client sees space and wants to fill it up.

There is good reason as to why the designer has left the space there in the first place, so why interrupt it and alter what they have done?

Personally, I don’t understand the reluctance to trust in the opinions and practise of people who are well versed in the delivery of their profession.

Isn’t the judgement and direction they offer, fashioned from providing successful solutions to briefs over many years, not only suitable, but probably the reason why they were hired to do the work in the first place?

So I empathise a great deal with Darren Heath and how his field of expertise is often ‘undermined’ by people with smart phones. It happens in all creative fields to some degree.

The irony is that we all do it.

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