Part 2: The Signature Line
It the first part, I talked about under-estimating designers and its profession, and how some online platforms destroy the design or creative industry, with promoting unskilled freelance designers and its work at a very low price point.
Today I’m writing about designers signature line.
First, what is the signature line? Simple answer is, its a creative work method unique to any skilled designer. Some designers are born with it (I’m not among them) and some, like me, learned and perfected its design skills, and that brought me to the point, where I could create my own signature line. Its most commonly visible at hand draw creations, such as portraits, landscapes and graphics etc. But, design industry has so much different categories, and you can achieve your signature line in each of them.
Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali (my favorite artist by-the-way), Frida Kahlo, and hundreds more, all of them had its own signature line and approach, which separated them from other artists of its time. That is why coping their work, is nearly impossible. Dali’s signature line or at least one of them, was the the striking and bizarre surrealism in its works. It takes a master counterfeiter to make a copy of his art work. Why? Because its a complex (or not)story behind each creation, and the artists hand works according to that. Nobody really knows in detail what, was going on in artists mind, when he created his work.
That is the whole point of a signature line. To make it hard to copy by other people.
It’s no different in graphic design industry today, but much easier, and the signature lines makes all the difference. Every real designer, who lives and breaths design, has its own “ritual” before starting a new creation. Some work at night, some turn of their phone to have peace, some meditate and do yoga — all just to create the best possible creation.
My ritual is quite simple: During the week, I get up at 4 in the morning, boil some tea, eat fruit, take care of my animals and start work (create) at 4.30. I work until about 8 or 9, cook some coffee, after that, I work out for about 45 minutes and go running or play basketball for another 45–60 minutes. The rest of the time I’m out on meetings or work in the office, but those 4 hours in the morning, that’s when I create my best work. I’m focused, creative and full of energy — which creates the best results for me.
As the name tells you, Signature Line is unique to each individual, as a personal signature, but in design terms, it also protects you and makes you different than other designers. The imagination that ends up on the canvas, is the signature itself, and that is why it’s so hard to achieve. That means, if you don’t have imagination you won’t have the signature line. It’s that simple. Of course, each creation can be unique with or without the design signature, but it can make you big if you have one.
Look at the fashion or electronic brands today. Look at Apple for example: it has its own signature line which is brilliant and very few brands came close in terms of industrial design. It was revolutionary then, and it makes an impression today. Even today its considered original and timeless. That is because the imagination and the signature line by the head of design and its team of engineers, made that product. They could chose an already seen and proven design and make some tweaks to it to make it work, but they stayed true to its idea to create something new and different. And in the end, that is what separates Apple from other brands. Brands signature line.
I could talk about this topic and its examples all day, but in the end its simple as the text written above.
As a graphic designer, creating new content on a daily basis is a lifestyle, and it’s a fact. A designer always thinks what will be his next creation.
Next time: Story behind your design & purpose of it
Writer: Jan Vreca, graphic/concept/web designer , www.jvd.si