You aren't a designer!
You know that, right? Design industry is flooded with self-proclaimed designers who brag about being featured in various galleries. But, are galleries even rejecting designers? Design galleries are like survey companies. Their numbers are sky rocketing and this makes it pretty tough for us to gauge their authenticity.
Designers have ceased to exist in this era of Photoshop and XHTML/CSS. Look for one and you will meet multiple “expert designers” who can design an outlook after reading couple of tutorials and quick tips. One might end up paying few hundred dollars for a re-designed idea that is actually an inspiration from multiple ideas already floating around the Internet.
Don’t let technical terms fool you.
One might argue that a Manager’s job (especially the one who did his/her MBA from a prestigious B-School) is to use overly complex jargon to excite clients. Marilyn Monroe was famous not only for her painfully romantic roles, but also for the similar image that she carried in her real life. She had moulded herself to be what you saw her in movies. This is exactly what happens to most of the Managers out there. They carve themselves so well in their shells that they (by default) believe that they aren’t fooling their clients with jargons. It simply results in the over usage of terms that have no meaning and no useful end results.
Same is the case with designers. Terms, like “increased user experience”, have been used by multiple designers to squeeze out few extra dollars off their client’s pocket. Such designers believe that their new design ideas will enhance user experience, but they fail to understand that the “new” idea is nothing but a derivative of the pointless Internet design industry.
Take inspiration but be different.
We all get inspired by things around us. Our brains have been designed like this and nobody can avoid this fact. I am not asking you to close your eyes and do your own thing. Rather, I want you to sit and study a design. Ever thought why a particular font was used while creating the logo for Amazon? Ever wondered the reason behind the colour theme of TechCrunch?
You might have walked across a design that you could have done better but ever wondered why that designer was getting the recognition and why you weren’t? I am asking you to dive head first into the world of design and understand “why” the famous designers do things that have made them famous. Don’t think about how they do it? Think about why they do it? It is about standing in front of a mirror and asking yourself what you like? Keep questioning yourself till you know the right answer. Ways to achieve your dreams will come up themselves. First, you got to start dreaming.
Design principles make hell lot of difference.
Heard of principles like Rule of Thirds, Golden Ratio, Chunking, and The Grid? Well, these are few of the very famous (I meant it) design principles that are the reasons why the real designers are able to come up with master pieces that leave you full of jealousy.
If questions like “How can a particular design look awesome?” or “Why aren’t my design as good as that of the famous designer?” killing your night’s sleep then I will suggest you to learn these design principles. I can assure you that the end results will blow your clients away!
History repeats itself, henceforth you better be aware of it.
Path to expertise is lengthy in every career. People have been covering the same since years and it is suggested that you read the history behind your career before you get going with your career. Design Archives will help you understand how designers were able to come up with flawless designs even when they did not have access to complex technology. Such design archives are full of inspirational designs that will force you to think about your abilities. It’s a faceoff with reality that you must experience.
Instead of a lengthy article I will like to leave you on your own. Ask yourself if you are really designing unique ideas or are you just re-designing the old ones. Figure out your client’s needs and not the zeroes in his account. Money will flow in when you are worth it!