I’m eating my words right now, because ever since my first job after graduation I’ve said that titles don’t matter (and I stand by that). However, I’m going to share why I think Design titles do matter.
- The vibe
- The ramble
Are you in the tech industry and your friends and family tell people “they’re a graphic designer” and your insides cringe up so tight you don’t think you’ll be able to walk for a month? Because same. Until I made the decision, no more. There comes a moment when we enter into a new chapter where “Graphic Designer” just won’t do anymore.
The beauty about being human is we’re all different, we are able to be our own individuals. You don’t have to agree with this article, in fact, I hope you don’t. I encourage differing opinions when approached in an empathetic way.
Outsiders seem to have this perception of what design is and that’s all it is to them, “oh like logos and stuff”.
Even brand designers should start being more specific about what they do for a living (become an Oscar) “actually, I have to research, test and create an entire identity that goes through a rigorous staging process” etc. You don’t have to go into a monologue of what your day to day is like, BUT you can start being more specific:
“Actually, I’m a…”
- Brand / Identity designer
- Packaging designer
- Print process designer
- Print designer
- Illustration designer
- Content designer
- Digital designer
- Presentation designer (Media decks, presentation decks, etc)
- Development designer (UX/UI, Product)
- Environmental designer
- Internal / External marketing designer
- Editorial designer
- Layout designer
- Fullstack designer (this can be everything, if you really don’t want to have a niche and you want to include everything)
And the list goes on and on and on and on…
The reason this list is endless is because people are inventing new titles for designers on the daily.
Be specific. When people think that you’re a “graphic designer”, they think you can do all of the above and if a designer tells you they can do it all, run. Run. Fast. You’ll want a designer who specializes, because that is all consuming for them.
It’s fine when people think I’m a graphic designer, but I am starting to correct them and here’s why you should too (all designers):
- This is your career. Don’t allow an oversimplification to define the lengthy process of your day to day. We’re privileged as designers to turn our passions into careers.
- Plant seeds. The more designers who correct people on what type of designer they are, the more it will sink in that a “logo designer” may not want to do the tasks that a “content designer” does.
- Leave an impact. “I feel…” statements will definitely leave some type of memory for the individual you’re talking to in conversation. They’ll feel defensive, or empathetic, or in some rare instances indifferent (however, you can usually weed those people out). So if you’re looking to leave an impact on the person you’re correcting about your career — leave them with a feeling.
- Always be kind while standing your ground
- Leave an impact
- The root of this frustration mainly stems from society historically undermining designers/artists/creatives, etc.