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A New Year

With 2003 approaching, have you derived at any resolutions that would relate to graphic design? Perhaps contributing time and skill to something more meaningful that might make an impact on a community or society?

Maybe this is just an attempt to justify the frivolous workload I have or to make me “feel better.” But I really think there is something more our profession can do to communicate or promote awareness, good causes, humanity or just make someone feel happy.

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kippy’s comment is:

I resolve to be as awesome as Armin . . . and get a posse.

On Dec.27.2002 at 02:29 PM
atley’s comment is:

i think at this point in time, helping an anti-war cause may be in order.

on a smaller level, my resolution is to finish a photo book/zine series of mine.


im atley.


On Dec.27.2002 at 11:06 PM
armin’s comment is:

This baby right here. All my extra efforts, besides the day-in/day-out work I do, will go into Speak Up and making it a memorable place to visit.

What about social conciousness and stuff? I'll leave that to Sam and Kevin. They seem to dig that.

What about giving back to the community? some other time. Right now, I'm serving the design community. And that's all right.

More on all this later, when I get back to my usual chair. I gotta finish packing right now.

>I resolve to be as awesome as Armin . . . and get a posse.

You are awesome kippy. You just need to work on your posse.

On Dec.28.2002 at 08:25 PM
Sam’s comment is:

For next year, I resolve:

To send more thank-you notes

To dress better for meetings with clients

To continue never to use Times Roman

To read some Steven Heller . . . maybe.

And to heed the call of him the master of el posse diseno, senor armin.

On Dec.28.2002 at 11:05 PM
Sam’s comment is:

Oh, a thought about doing work that has a more meaningful impact on society. I hope it's not to self-serving, as designers, to say that just trying to do good work is an important contribution. I really hope that it is. The world is better off for anything that is well-thought-out, carefully crafted, and beautiful (by any of the innumerable possible definitions of beauty). The world is worse for every numbingly generic movie poster, headshot+grunge-font cd cover, Times-Roman-letterhead piece of design--not morally worse, but just a little less worth looking closer at. The best design, like the best anything, always is worth looking closer at.

It's not always in our control as designers to choose what we work on, or what we are obliged to do in the course of a project. That's inherent in the job. Nothing wrong with that, I hope. And I agree with Kris that design as a profession can promote good causes, improve awareness, and produce joy. But that's also part of being a better whole person, not simply a more socially conscious designer.

I have done a few small projects where good intentions were the point (for me) more than anything else, but I have to say, once you're in there working for someone else, you run into the same problems, frustrations, fussing, indecision, as any job. It's hard not to feel taken advantage of. Anyone else feel that way? I have yet to get one of those great-causes-total-creative-freedom projects--the James Victore stuff. Damn him!

On Dec.28.2002 at 11:30 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>an attempt to justify the frivolous workload

Why is it that sometimes we are so ashamed of what we do?

We got into graphic design because we are good at making products and/or services look great and communicate better. We have the ability to make people's businesses more profitable and have a better image towards their target audience. That's why we chose the design profession.

If you (this is not directed only towards you Kris, it's to every designer who questions our profession and values) want to save the world join Greenpeace or tie yourself to a tree while holding on to a species in extinction. Don't get me wrong I truly believe that we can make a difference by using our abilities to promote good causes, reach audiences on a different level and even change people's minds on any given issue. I have great respect for designers who seek out these projects and do pro-bono work for organizations that want to achieve something better than monetary gain.

And I wish I had projects that would let me do such things. But the thruth of the matter is that money makes te world go 'round and we are in the business of making things seem more buyable. Is this shallow? capitalist? narrow-minded? frivolous? Probably. But it's what we do.

And I feel fine about it.

On Dec.30.2002 at 09:10 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

"To dress better for meetings with clients"

We all go through that phase, don't we? ;o)

"Why is it that sometimes we are so ashamed of what we do?"

I dunno. It hit me a few years after college that graphic design is really just marketing (duh!) and that it really isn't as important as graphic designers make it out to be. Maybe every industry has an oddly over-indulgent fealing of self-importance...I dunno.

Of course, living in America, where marketing is pretty much what defines us, does get to be a 'bit much' sometimes. Sometimes I feel that I'm just adding to the visual polution in society.

I do have a feeling that we're one of those industries that perhaps pats each other on the back a bit *too* much. There are too many design annuals/comptitions to start with, and a majority of the ones that are out there don't base the work on any real-world criteria.

I don't feel bad about doing this, It's just a lot easier to put things in perspective once you figure that out. As Armin pointed out, Graphic Design is a business. All that matters is that your clients are happy enough to keep paying you.

If there are causes out there that are important to you, and you feel that graphic design is the best way that you can help them out, then by all means, feel good about it.

On Dec.30.2002 at 09:39 AM
arturo elenes’s comment is:

Build my patio grill-chimney artifact myself

Find a space for my dream house

Release my website by march 21st

Listen more, write more and draw more

So... bye bye 2002

good morning 2003


On Dec.30.2002 at 12:22 PM
KM’s comment is:

>an attempt to justify the frivolous workload

Why is it that sometimes we are so ashamed of what we do?

Armin, to answer your question. I'm not ashamed of what I do - just design as a whole, I feel, is frivolous a lot of the time. Am I wrong? There is nothing inherent to a designer to "save the world." It was just a thought of using, personally, my talent as a communicator/designer to try stimulate thought and conversation. By no means am I a "tree-hugger" or do I question the values of our profession.

Ethics, however, do come into question. I think sometimes we need to take a step back and ask what is it that I'm communicating? Is this helping anybody, etc.?

I would agree that we are in the business of making things seem more buyable and maybe it isn't our responsibility to design with a conscience.

On Dec.30.2002 at 12:28 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>I'm not ashamed of what I do - just design as a whole, I feel, is frivolous a lot of the time. Am I wrong?

Not at all. It's just the nature of the business.

And I didn't mean to hold you responsible, your comment triggered this thought I've had for a while now.

On Dec.30.2002 at 01:05 PM
Arturo’s comment is:

Don�t you think this "frivolousness" is just the reflection of a whole culture.


On Dec.30.2002 at 04:53 PM
Don Clark’s comment is:

resolutions/things I can do -

1) Start a screen-print division in my company

2) More non-client work

3) Typography classes

4) Focus on strengthening skills

5) Get involved more in the design community

On Jan.02.2003 at 01:59 PM