“Every great design starts with a committee,” said no one ever. During your academic career as a graphic designer, you are occasionally expected to work in group projects to produce a substantial product, ex. an infographic, corporate branding campaign, a game design, logo, etc.. If you are like me then perhaps during one of those moments you would have questioned your choice of major that would have to involve others to complete your task. Now don’t misunderstand my sentiment, I do appreciate critical feedback and a group setting when it comes to “fun” activities. However, when I am forced to do a creative group think with other non-artists (the key term is non, btw) I tend to dream of a far, far away place where penguins live and no other human is within a hundred thousand miles of me.
So why do we have to work in groups? Allow me to explain in no scientific way possible. Since the dawn of time, we’ve discovered that we can’t make it out here alone. And by here I mean this liquidy covered spherical rock that we call Earth. In order to succeed we have to work in packs, or tribes, or communities, or the marketing department. We have to work together in order to advance ourselves as a species or corporation. So this leads me back to the question of scholastic group projects, why? Because you are the visual guy/gal and you are the only one who can make sense of your linear thinking human group members. You have to digest all of their information, research, “insight,” to come up with a universal design for ALL the world to understand. Now that’s a doable task given time and effort, but only if you are the one producing the final content, or working with other graphic designers.*
Once your committee members, who haven’t invested 2-4+ years of art school, start chiming in on how the design should be that’s when you need to say “stop! let me do my thing!” I mean if I was in a meeting about the quarterly budget I’m surely not going to commandeer the excel spreadsheet and add my own random figures, am I right? I would be fired on the spot and or committed to an asylum (no offense to those that are currently living in a padded room).
As an artist, you have the right to say, “no, you are wrong, this is how it should be because I’ve done my research, hours of composition, research, sketches, color theory, and applied my fundamentals of design.” So thank you to the academic institution(s) for the years of training to help me find my voice and become the leader of my pack, tribe, community, marketing department, etc.. So graphic designers of the world, go out and be heard, yell STOP! if you have to.
*In-house solo graphic designers I feel your pain, but if you happen to land in a design firm of any sort you are a lucky duck, now go out a concur the world!