The world is full of graphic design—a lot of it bad (I admit I’ve contributed my share), a lot of it borrowed or influenced by original ideas (yes, I fall into this category too), and then there are designs that are so new and original that they direct/ influence the previous two categories in one way or another. It’s like in the movie The Devil Wears Prada when Andy (Anne Hathaway) snickers at the color of a belt, but then Miranda (Meryl Streep) humbles Andy by telling her the color of the blue bargain-basement sweater she’s wearing was picked out for her years ago by the top creatives standing in the room. In the world of graphic design there are designers and design agencies who set the trends that eventually trickle their way all the way down to the design bargain-basement too.
It was recently that I read the about page of a blog that I’ve followed for a while now—the blog is ISO50: The Visual Work of Scott Hansen—I consider Scott one of these design vanguards like I mentioned above. As I was reading the thing that really caught my eye (and the idea behind this post) was that he no longer does commercial work. He’s worked for a variety of places (the most prestigious being Adobe), but now he works and designs mostly for himself. He’s stepped over the line of being a Graphic Designer to Artist, and along the way become a leader in the design community.
Reading Scott’s about page has really got me thinking about my own design-standing and how I measure up to other designers (whether I’m a bad designer, a good follower, or a leader). I love designing and somedays I’m just paying the bills or getting by because the design brief isn’t looking for much (or willing to pay much), but I think like Scott I’m happiest when I am my own client or I’m working on a project that’s close to me.
And speaking of self directed projects I should say that the new MARCFOLIO site is almost done. I’m just tweaking a few past projects so they really shine, but end of next week we should be going live (and then I’ll be made an AIGA Legend lol). I also want to give a shout out to one of my college classmates. Luke Larsen of LukeLarsen.com just launch his new AJAXmazing web site. Nice work Luke.