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Celebrating 100 episodes of Resourceful Designer.
But before I do that, I want to take a quick moment to thank everyone who has helped Resourceful Designer become what it is. Wayne Henderson for his great podcast intro clips. Justin for the amazing job he does editing my shows. And of course, you, for being a loyal listener. Without you, there would be no Resourceful Designer.
In case you don't know my history you can read it here. But the short version is, I didn't always want to be a graphic designer. I fell into this profession by accident and never looked back.
My life as a graphic designer
Graphic designers look at the world differently than everyone else. Most people see a billboard on the side of the road and either acknowledge the message or don't. However, being a graphic designer allows me to look at the world differently. Whenever I see a billboard, I examine the font to see if it's easy to read. I do a word count to see if I can get the full message in the short time the billboard is visible to me. I look at the overall message being presented and try to determine if it's effective. And so much more. Who else but a graphic designer would look at a billboard that way?
The same goes for junk mail. Most people simply throw it out. I do the same, but not before examining the layouts, colour usage, font choices, etc. It's still junk mail, but even junk mail has a design beauty worth admiring.
Whenever I go to a restaurant, I can't help but examine the menu. Not just for the food choices, but for the design choices. A well-designed menu can tell you a lot about a restaurant.
Chalk sidewalk signs are another thing. I don't have the skill to create those beautiful attractions myself, but as a designer, I can appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into each stroke of a letter, the precision layout to make everything fit on the board and the creativity involved.
Everywhere I look my designer's eye sees things to admire, examine, break apart and learn from.
So many opportunities to learn
As a designer, there are so many opportunities to learn new skills, techniques and ideas all around me. From examining ads in old waiting room magazines to the window dressings in shopping malls. Everywhere I look there is something to admire and learn from. Things that non-designers don't appreciate.
I look at these things with a distinctive designer's eye. I examine layouts and learn from them. I examine font usage and pick up tricks. I examine background imagery and wonder how the designer made it and try to figure out how I would go about recreating it.
Walking through a bookstore opens up a cornucopia of designs for me to look at. I love browsing the aisles at a bookstore examining the different cover designs, title treatments, colour choices and type pairings.
Almost everywhere I look there is something that was thought up by a designer. Magazines on the rack, graphic t-shirts on the people around me, greeting cards handed out on special occasions, the products on grocery store shelves. All of these can be admired and learned from.
There are some drawbacks to being a designer
Of course being a designer isn't all unicorns and rainbows. There's the frustration when a client doesn't see the vision in an amazing design I create for them.
There's also the way seeing a bad design choice can affect me more than it does non-designers. Something like bad kerning will stand out like a sore thumb to me when others won't even notice it.
There are the time losses I experience while emersed in a design project. Before I know it it's dinner time, and I realize that I never even had lunch.
How many other professions experience any of these?
There are other drawbacks, but never enough to unbalance my love of being a graphic designer.
I share even more reason of why I love being a designer on the podcast so be sure to listen to this episode.
We're lucky to be designers
We’re lucky. There are not a lot of professions out there that allow someone to make a living from their creativity. Whether it’s designing for clients or doing something like designing and selling T-Shirts to make money on the side.
We have options. And no matter how advanced technology becomes and how easy it is to push pixels across a screen. There will always be a need for designers to make things look good.
It takes more than just talent to succeed in this business. It takes a passion for design which I know you have. Because you’re taking the time to read this, and hopefully to listen to the podcast as well. Why else would you be doing that unless you too are passionate about your career path?
So once again thank you for being part of Resourceful Designer, Thank you for reaching out and sharing your journey with me. And thank you for giving me the motivation to continue with mine.
Until next time, I’m Mark Des Cotes wishing you all the best with your design business.
And as always, reminding you to Stay Creative.
What does being a graphic designer mean to you?
Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.
100th episode contest.
We have a winner!
That didn’t take long. Mike Albuquerque guessed correctly and has won the $100 Amazon gift card. Congratulations Mike!
For those of you wondering. The brunette stock photo model I was talking about in the episode is the one below. For years I've been seeing her on billboards, on Facebook ads, on posters, on junk mail, etc. You name it, she's probably promoted it. And it seems any time I look for a stock photo of a woman, no matter the pose I'm searching for, she's bound to pop up. Maridav, the photographer contributing her photos must be making a fortune off of this woman.
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I want to help you.
Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business, please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I know I’m very late, but this was the woman I thought of when you spoke of the woman you see in so many places. I’ve seen her so many times, I call her “stock photo woman”:
And yes, it’s the same woman as your winner chose.
Thanks for your podcast!
Thanks for listening to the podcast. It’s funny how popular a “stock photo woman” has become. I even saw her on a television commercial recently.
Came across your podcast and decided to listen in on the 100th ep while working. I am a graphic designer myself and I can totally relate to most of the things that you mentioned about the quirks of being a graphic designer – this is why I can spend hours on Pinterest just browsing through random stuff and why my go to place in a mall, when I’m early for a meeting, is a bookstore. Thank you for sharing your knowledge! Good luck and keep it up! 🙂
Thank you Camille.
This was really a great episode, Mark.
Well, I’m behind on podcasts and, therefore, late to the party; but the lady in the stock photos is exactly the one that I had in my mind. I’ve used images with her a bunch. She’s attractive, somewhat ambiguous racially speaking (which is nice), and there are a ton of images with her so you can find multiple images of her to tell a story.
Congratulations on on your 100th episode. I can relate to everything you say and over time have learned to embrace my inner nerd. I used to drive friends crazy at the cinema by naming the fonts that rolled up on movie credits. All the very best for the next 100 episodes.
I know you already have the winner, but I wanted to let you know that this 100th episode relates SO MUCH! haha. I do all the same things as you! I tell my wife every time we pass something I have designed and she could care less after so many years. Funny thing though, if she catches me looking at something for too long, she will ask me, “do you know what font that is?” and….I usually do. Thank you for all your hard work in this podcast!
Thanks Josh, My wife used to ask me what I was looking at. Now she doesn’t even bother, she already knows. LOL
I’m a music lover! For me, looking at album covers is my huge source of inspiration. I usually go to a store that sells music and just stare at the album cover. Even if it’s a genre I don’t usually listen to, I love seeing the process a designer/creative put on the album artwork. Overall, congratulations on your one hundredth episode! Every episode is full of nuggets for aspiring home-based designers. Thank you Mark for creating this podcast!
Thanks Randy, What I love doing is finding the album covers that don’t work in my opinion and dissecting why they don’t work. Is it the colour, the layout, the graphical elements. I learn a lot from looking at them.
hello mark can u bring me up to speed
I’m not sure what you mean.
We used to call her istock girl because for a while it felt like half their photos were with her.
Great episode Mark. Hope I’m right!
That didn’t take long. Congratulations Mike, you guessed right. Keep an eye on your inbox for an email from me so I can get you your prize.
Yes that is her. She is everywhere – even greets me on the way to my gym class.
I’m assuming you mean her: http://i0.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/facebook/000/008/570/good-girlg-ina.jpg
Sorry Adan, that’s not her. Although the one you submitted seems to be very popular amongst dental websites and fart jokes for some reaason.
Happy 100th episode!
I can REALLY relate to today’s podcast, you’ve hit the nail on the head!
Is the woman you’re talking about in your competition this one? If so, I’ve seen her used a few times too 🙂
Anyway, just wanted you to know how much I look forward to the podcast every week, keep up the great work, and here’s to a few more hundred episodes of Resourceful Designer!
Thanks for the kind words Amanda. I have seen that woman before but she’s not the one I was talking about. Sorry.