Recently, I’ve been consumed with the notion of being a designer. I mean, in my mind, of course I am. I studied graphic design. I taught design for 4 years. My books have been about the subject of design. However my official title for a long time hasn’t been a ‘Designer’. But if I’m not a designer, then what am I? A director? Well yeah, sure, I guess.

The semantics of the industry norm around titles, and how this relates to being a practicing designer, is interesting. Does being a ‘director’, of creative, or art (or anything), really connect to those who are very, very good designers? There’s a clear difference here. I mean, say you’re one of these very, very good designers; you’re fast, consider the form vs. …

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Everybody has their part to play

I’ve said this a number of times in various pieces of my writing about design. It’s easy to get, as a lot of people can relate to being a sports fan of some kind. As a fan, you are essentially a customer of the institution you are supporting. Much of the modern sports game is heavily commercialised, turning customers of the game into customers of other things. But jerseys, scarves and team flags aside, the main product is the game itself—and by being an enthused follower—this qualifies you as a consumer.

As an engaged person in the game, who cares about the outcome, you expect the team to be a functioning outfit that work hard and communicate amongst each other throughout playing time. You urge them to come up with solutions to the problem of getting the ball in the goal (okay, I’ve tried to keep the analogy neutral so far, but now I’ve landed on football). You also expect them to train outside of games, to develop, to get better at working together. …

Good typographic practice makes digital designs better

Call me old fashioned, but proper typographic practice remains high on the list of topics that all types of designers should be knowledgable about. Matters of the straight vs. curly apostrophe, optimal line length, hanging punctuation, even the most basic of typesetting knowledge such as widows and orphans — and don’t even get me started on correct dash usage — are just some examples of things that I see falling by the wayside in design for screen today all around the internet.

If you’re a visually-led designer and you don’t have a foundation of type knowledge… then get to know, and quick. If you come from a research or psychology background and have wound up in UX, then educating yourself on these topics will only mean you create better, more meaningful work right down to the smallest of scales. …


Andy Cooke

Creative Director

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