Many people look at a group of designers and assume that every designer performs the same job, has the same passions, and will have the same lifestyle. This could not be further from the truth. Graphic design and web design are some of the most wide-open career fields in the job market. There are some jobs that suit some people better than others. If you have earned or are earning a design degree, you should consider what type of personality you have before committing to a job. Here are some jobs that are the best fits for certain people.
Larry the Leader
In every group there are chiefs and there are indians. If you are a chief, you naturally rise to leadership positions and have a knack for directing people. You might fit in well as a creative director. Creative directors are in charge of creative teams that produce artwork for various media and entertainment outlets. They make sure that all team members complete their work on time and at a high level of quality. Directors have the final say on products and services performed by their team. If you would enjoy an administrative position and can handle responsibility, this area of work might be right up your alley.
For those who feel more comfortable in front of a computer screen than a sketch pad, design jobs requiring technology are growing more rapidly than ever. Web design has become an indisposible part of most companies. Web designers handle the layout, graphics, and continuity of websites. Their work is sometimes seen by thousands of people each day. The latest trend is the use of Flash, a multimedia graphics program from Macromedia. It is used to create interactive and animated websites, and is being used by nearly everyone. So for the designer looking to unleash the computer geek within, there is plenty of demand for designers in the tech industry.
While some designers enjoy creating their artistic masterpieces from nothing, other prefer finding the beauty in things in the world around them. Photographers take a simple image and turn it into their work of art using equipment such as lights, lenses, and especially their creative vision. As we progress through the digital age, photography is evolving due to technology. Many people make careers as photo editors, especially through the use of Photoshop. Photoshop gurus manipulate photos to add even more artistic value to them. If you are handy with a camera, you could end up in one of these professions.
Some designers are purists and just want to focus on the heart of the matter: the art. Illustrators transform ideas and stories into images that are used in printed materials as well as commercial products, such as greeting cards and stationery. Technical illustrators primarily use digital media to create illustrations.
Brian the Businessman
There are some people that enjoy being part of large companies with widespread recognition and influence. These corporations need designers, too. Brand identities and logos are the products of graphic designers. These products must be constantly evolving to remain on the cutting edge. If you prefer settling into a single job, especially with a large company, you might fit well into this category.
These are just a few of the jobs that are available to graphic and web designers. Many designers are independent or freelance, so people who enjoy frequent change can find their niche as well. Now you can evaluate yourself and decide which kind of career is right for you.
Once upon a time, I once started a job as a graphic designer.
A brief introduction to design work. All my jobs have been in design. You just put some colors, text, and shapes down in a way that looks nice. Your day gets filled with Color Purple Moments.*
There’s often other business and administrative tasks. File paperwork, mark time, organize digital files. Most of which I enjoy to varying degrees as a break. This department was perhaps a dozen or more office workers at various levels.
Until one day – only a few months into the position – my manager calls me in. Maybe I’m in trouble. Instead, I’m promoted. It’s retroactive. The next check adjusts my pay as if I was paid that way for the last month.
(Sounds great on paper, except that I made very little. So small that I just now had to double check to make sure I was above the Federal Poverty Guidelines.)
Here’s the thing. I reacted with confusion.
The manager explains that I had been doing the new job already. First, I handled all of my own work. Then did work for the vacant position that I filled.
From my point of view, I thought everyone in the department did that. Split the overload, right.
Plus, I was bored!
I’m data driven. Obviously so are they as they had time records and accuracy (never my strong suit).
Cool news right! There was and still is a part of me that’s like “Why work so hard???”
The truth is, most of the time the concept of “hard work” doesn’t often cross my mind. Thinking about difficulty feels unhelpful, impractical, and stressful. [Cue “Stop for A Minute” by Keane]
I really try to veer toward answering questions like “Is it possible to do it?” “What would it take to do it?” Focus on the steps, tools, and behaviors involved.
I’m sure I read this in many productivity books when as a young adult. I tried it. I noticed I felt less stressed.
(The 2012 paper “When thinking about goals undermines goal pursuit” by Fischbach and Choi tested this concept. This story takes place before then.)
The early pre-smartphone internet leaned more geeky. So the productivity boom was afoot.
Flash forward a few years, another job as a graphic designer.
Once again, I’m called in to discuss with my manager. Let’s make more duties official. This time it was not really design oriented work without any immediate incentives – salary, flexibility, and perhaps if there was a new title it would be more out of my intended field. So I was less enthusiastic.
From my point of view – once again – I thought everyone helped do this work! They asked us to split the overload.
I learned a valuable lesson and acted on it. If you can get away with just doing more, you can get away with doing less. That’s exactly what I did.
All of this new administrator work – I didn’t want to it and so I didn’t. And it all just went away.
Someone else in another office somewhere did it I guess. Or they decided no one needed to maybe. I don’t remember because I stopped being involved.
That part of me that asks “Why work so hard?” That’s super annoying when you have goals you care about. Useful when you have anti-goals that you want to stop caring about.
Nowadays, still bored.
“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.” Alice Walker, The Color Purple
Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.
In todays modern world the term ‘typography’ is used very loosly and you could argue that, since the digital age, typogrophy is no longer a specialized occupation. Furthermore, it is performed by anyone who arranges type such as comic book designers, graffiti artists, art directors, clerical workers and graphic designers. There are many instances where the modern typography we use today was inspired by old styles. In this article we will take a look at how yesterdays type has inspired todays styles.
The large letter that is often seen at the beginning of a chapter or paragraph in printed publications such as novels and newspapers is referred to as the ‘Initial’. The name initial comes from the latin initialis which means ‘standing at the beginning’.
Going back to the very early history of printing the initial would be added to a manuscript or text by a scribe or minature painter annd not by the typesetter; The typesetters just left the necessary space so the Initial could be added later.
There are several different types of Initial, the first type is the one you will normally see on a computer, sat on the baseline and flush with the left margin. The other type of Initial you might see in html is in the left margin with the text to the right and indented.
The last, and probably the most common, type of initial seen in newspapers, magazines and novels is the drop cap, where it runs several lines deep with the text wrapped around so the left and top margins are all flush.
Old Style Typefaces
Often reffered to as Humanist, the ‘old style’ typefaces are inspired by the hand lettering of scribes before the modern typefaces we’re introduced; The very first old style fonts we’re produced in the early 1500’s.
The thick to thin transitions that can be seen in the old style typefaces highlights its relation to calligraphy and they look very much like they have been drawn with pen and ink. If you we’re to draw a line between the thinnest parts of the character you can see that ‘the stress’ is always diagonal and the serifs on old style fonts are very angled.
Old style fonts are generally best suited to pages with lots of body text on as they are very easy on the eye and are often found in magazines, newspapers and books. One of the most common used sans-serif old style fonts used in the web today is ‘Times New Roman’.
Modern Style Typefaces
The modern style typefacesare often referred to as ‘Didone’ and despite the name ‘modern’ it is not a new typeface. Going back to the eighteenth century when new advanced printing methods came to to light and when the paper qualkity drastically improved there we’re changes in how typefaces we’re created.
Compared to the old style typefaces the Didone have thin and very long horrizontal serifs, the stress is vertical rather than diagonal and the thick and thin transitions syle is much more clear cut and a dramatic difference compared with old style typefaces.
These fonts can be very eye catching when used in large sizes and are not suited to pages with lots of body text due to their thick lines becoming too powerful and the thin parts been nion impossible to see. The modern style fonts are best suited to titles, headings and sub-headings and common ones you will see on the web today are Didot, Onyx and Times Bold.
This article was produced on behalf of PrinterInks – suppliers of printer cartridges, toners and stationary services throughout the UK and Europe.
Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.
Which moods are scientifically linked with creativity? Various research links negative moods and feelings to a decrease in creativity:
A 2010 study published by the Association for Psychological Science linked creativity most with positive moods. Using music and video clips, researchers primed participants for certain moods by researchers of the University of Western Ontario. Those who listened to the happiest music or watched a cheerful video were most able to recognize creative patterns. The happy volunteers were better at learning the rules behind patterns than those in neutral or sad moods.
“Generally, positive mood has been found to enhance creative problem solving and flexible yet careful thinking.” Ruby Nadler, University of Western Ontario
Creativity has been associated with mood disorders. Preliminary associations compiled by the University of Iowa found higher rates of mood disorders and alcoholism among writers and playwrights. This study did not include a control group to draw comparisons against. (The relationship between creativity and mood disorders) Among those who were studied, almost all involved reported less creative output during depressive or manic states.
Matthijs Baas of the University Of Amsterdam focuses his research on creative psychology. His work indicates that happiness, fear, and anger are the most creative enhancing moods. Sadness, relaxation, and relief decrease creativity since stimulation encourages flexibility and idea generation. Happiness leads to creative flexibility while fear and avoidance lead to creative persistence.
Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.
What drives your creative projects more: the thrill of the fresh start OR the finish line?
Learning to love both makes us productive and creative.
Creatives love the part in the middle where we get to indulge in the business of making things. At the same time, I’m betting that you’re creativity sparks more from either (a) the love of starting something new or (b) the satisfaction of completing a task.
Imagine the nature documentary. The love of a new start VERSUS the joy of completion.
I see this Creative Drive spectrum as
Badgers versus Barkers
Badgers love achieving merit badges. They’re achievement driven.
Barkers love embarking on new tasks. They’re initiation driven.
Badgers: Achievement Driven
I call these lovers of achievement-focused creativity… badgers! They love collecting merit badges. The badger Creativity Drive focuses on finishing tasks.
Badgers love the end goal. If they see a finish line, they’ve found focus. They love seeing an idea become real.
They become the classic gamer who wants to complete 100% of a game. In their game, there exist only a few items. If you’re a Badger, you’re constantly envisioning finishing every single specific piece and then completing everything. That’s because you know exactly what it is. When given a well-defined goal, a Badger figures out how to beat the game.
Psychologists dub one type of a higher achievement drive as “performance orientation”. This is a high focus on positive outcomes such as grades and promotions. If the goals focus on comparison to others, the outcome can be psychologically negative. This high achievement mindset becomes influenced by environment according to a 2012 study by Stanford psychologist Paul O’Keefe. Healthy goals lean toward a “mastery orientation” where finishing the task with a focus of developing new skills, improving, and gaining knowledge.
A badgers favorite part of creating and making involves completing goals. A badger loves small tasks and finishes them.
A badger wants to start in the right place for a goal they know they can complete. Figuring out the unknown feels harder and less interesting.
A badger might tend to finish tasks that don’t really need to do at all. They write things on a checklist just to enjoy an official ending. They love the feeling of crossing a task off of a list more than the feeling of writing it on their first.
As part of a team, badgers are excellent finishers.
They’ll figure out how to get a task done on time. That’s because they are swiftly decisive when they see a way to cross a finish line. If they’re not given a new finish line, they wander off. They might even finish tasks that have nothing to do with the original goals, just because they know they can finish them off.
What are badgers afraid of?
They may be driven by the fear of not finishing a task and not the fun of finishing. If they don’t see how they can win, they won’t try. A fearful badger may learn to be driven by external recognition of a finished task or by an internal sense of accomplishment.
The badger procrastination style:
They do what they can finish easily. They’ll need to practice looking for ways to create finishable achievements. They don’t naturally see those link to real priorities with new projects. They’ll put off looking for goals as a way to delay starting.
Past versus future?
Badgers romanticize past wins. In their fishing stories, the fish gets bigger every time. An extreme badger might remember themselves as a king of their high school. Without those kinds of externally focused starts, that same person might not have done as much in regular life.
How badgers learn:
Badgers learn by looking backward. They love reflecting on completed work. An achievement, trophy or merit badge strongly represents their best qualities. Even when doing a current task, they learn to use past patterns to figure out new tasks. From the outside, this might look like a strong vision and plan.
Analysis paralysis at the beginning.
Achievement driven creatives find resistance when they’ve encountered a task they consider new and undefined.
How can badgers become better at starting tasks?
As badgers love to collect finished tasks, they’ll need to see starting a new task as an achievement. What task can they cross off their list that counts at the start? Get specific on the first step. If a badger learns to see “Finished Starting” as an achievement, they can adopt the best parts of the initiation driven style. Reward yourself at the start by completing even the most ridiculously small step.
Barkers: Initiation Driven
I call an initiation leaning Creativity Drive being a … Barker: They like to embark on new tasks. Barkers have a Creativity Drive focused on starting tasks.
Someone on this side of the spectrum leans towards creativity that involves start on a new work. They love to start lots of tasks and all of them seem ongoing. They find more ways to add and stretch any task as they find new pieces to explore.
A barker starts a new task with energy and then quickly their attention wanders. They chase the next shiny thing. After all of this dreaming, their project becomes too big. Their ideas began without defining a clear realistic end point.
As part of a team, barkers are excellent starters.
They’ll know the best place to start is anywhere. They’ll remind others to notice new paths to wander. That’s because they are swiftly decisive when they see something new to jump into. They stop at any point due to frustration, losing focus, or when realising how much work they have involved. They may just start something else and forget the original task if not kept in check
What are barkers afraid of?
A barker may even be afraid to finish realizing that the result may not match their ideal
What’s a barker’s procrastination style?
They’ll start something new and unrelated to put off the old task. If they practice seeing new opportunities to start within the current project, they have a better chance of success.
Past versus future?
For a barker, starting a new project feels like falling in love. A barker feels excited by possibilities to come. They’re disillusioned by possibilities when they realize the effort, work, or planning involved. A barker feels more likely to seem like a perfectionist. After they’ve created an idealized task, they want the reality to live up to their vision.
Barkers love trying new things. The downside? Barkers love trying new things. The tendency to fantasize about the future – experiments in the American Psychological Association demonstrate – results in a false sense of finishing. We imagine how it ended, felt the reward of that, and so we don’t actually feel like we need to create any of it.
Since a barker loves new beginnings, they open a new and different box of cereal before finishing the last one. Leftovers lose their appeal and they’re ready to cook something new. Creation feels like exploring new wonders in life.
How barkers learn:
When a barker learns, they love to think about their future use of knowledge or an ability.
Analysis paralysis at the end.
Initiation driven creatives find resistance when they’ve encountered a task that needs a well-defined end. The dream of travel might be appealing to a barker. At the most extreme end of the spectrum, a barker would be paralyzed by the mundane details of travel planning.
How can a barker become better at finishing tasks?
Since a barker loves to embark on new adventures, they have to see the journey of finishing. Get specific on the last goal, break down each small step along the way, and take a minute to see the fun in starting the next little thing.