As a designer, we go through the struggle of getting our designs approved by the client. We are expected to follow the latest designing trends and deliver exactly according to the specified instructions. We mean, sure this is what the customer wants but at the end of the day if it just leads to copy-pasting of the same redundant ideas then where is the creativity in it? A Denmark-based UX designer; Lars Damgaard defines it as:
“… we need to wisely reflect on how we use [design] or how we are inspired by [design] instead of just blindly reproducing [others’ designs], because this is what looks cool just now.”
Even though there is no harm in staying updated with upcoming trends, it is the frequency of duplication of designs that follows after it. Every designer jumps on the bandwagon to adopt that style that eventually loses its charm and appeal. There isn’t something like a good and bad design; it is more about the approach followed in making that design. Differentiating between a good and a great designer or analyzing the characteristics that change a good designer to become a great one requires more than the understanding of basic design principles.
A Good Designer: Follows the Rules
They know everything (well mostly) related to design. Color theory, design balance, alignment, scaling, and negative spacing: name it, they have it. The problem isn’t in following the rules because this is exactly what’s expected from a professional designer: creating a design by applying the acquired knowledge. The issue arises when a designer refuses to work beyond the boundaries of those rules. By strictly adhering to their set guidelines, they barely experiment to try something new. Rules are meant to give you a sense of guidance, to assist your work. But if you follow all the rules, you miss all the fun.
A Great Designer: Understands the Rules & Builds on Them
The shift from simply knowing the rules to applying them relevantly in a situation sets a big contrast between a good and a great designer. A great designer has an equal understanding of the problem and the rules that apply to cater that problem. They will acknowledge a rule and build designs that creatively delivers the intended message. Rules and principles for them are not binding; they like to explore and challenge the existing norms. Designer in this category are fearless; they will go an extra mile to give their users and customers a right look and feel despite prevailing circumstances.
A Good Designer: Designs
This may seem like the most obvious thing, but the fact is that a good designer no matter how knowledgeable and qualified will create combinations of object and term it as a ‘design.’ They will follow the instructions precisely, deliver everything that is required for the project and yet create a feeling of incompleteness. The designs they create maybe sufficient to fulfill the requirements but yet fail to wow the audience with its plainness and ordinariness.
A Great Designer: Creates Art
Transforming a mere design to art is a technique that only a great professional designer knows how to master. Maybe they are innate with these abilities or have practiced the skill to perfection. Either way, their designs, and illustrations speak for themselves; having the right object proportion applied with attention to minute details and the understanding of design principles. A great designer ensures that the object it designs is in perspective of the message that it desires to deliver.
The list of differences between a good and a great designer is endless, but regardless it is no secret that a well-crafted design is a result of continuous hard work, research, and dedication. Greatness comes with a price and pushes you to limits to achieve the unachievable. A great designer as compared to a good designer is always ready to take that leap of faith that guides them to the path of self-attainment, and with that, they gain the power to magnificence.
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