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SIGNATURES

One of the reasons why I decided to go in to the field of graphic design is the idea that design work circulates without a face or name connected to it. This thought was appealing to me and made me feel more comfortable.

If you are in the field, you probably know who designed certain logos, posters, or websites; however, the average person does not and most likely does not care. In other forms of art, it is a little different. Most people know Van Gogh, Michelangelo, and Leonardo, as well as at least one of their works. In fashion design, the name is more recognizable than the actual work: Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein. I guess the Versaces of our field should be Paul Rand, Paula Scher, and a few others, but very few people outside the graphic design world know who they are. Graphic designers are often in the shadow; they do not belong to popular culture, but strangely enough their designs make up pop culture. It is an interesting dichotomy. I don’t know how I feel about this now, but I am still very intrigued by it. Any thoughts?

4 Comments

  1. EmFlores wrote:

    I appreciate the level of anonymity of designers to the outside world. I think it helps designers to focus on the message of the design, and not the notoriety that some fine artists might seek. Not to say that there aren’t designers who seek notoriety, I think I am more aware of it in the art world.

    Friday, April 2, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Permalink
  2. Emily Posner wrote:

    You are both right; it is a bizarre dichotomy. I am wondering though, if all graphic designers want to be “anonymous” to the outside world. Of course there are our “design heroes” that are well-known and well-liked…Paul Rand, Wolfgang Weingart, etc. It’s interesting, though, that we try to “brand” ourselves as designers in order to make our work memorable. When searching for jobs, we are taught to have business cards with matching letterheads, envelopes, and resumes to make ourselves marketable and stand out to employers. I guess in that sense, our work is not anonymous because we want the employers to know who we are and our design capabilities. As a designer, I make it a priority to get to know the important designers in the field because in order to be a successful designer, I must study what the successful designers are doing! I like seeing the trends of today and being inspired by great designers. I think that fine art has been around for far longer, and because fine art is something that is more commonly exposed in galleries and museums, people are able to access information regarding these artists and their work. I guess I am going off on a tangent now, but I disagree. I don’t like the level of anonymity of designers at this stage in my life, simply because I want people to know the skills that I have to offer and I eventually do want to be a successful graphic designer. If people don’t associate my work with me, then I will never make a name for myself. Networking is so key in design, and we “brand” ourselves for this purpose.

    Monday, April 5, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink
  3. Marzia wrote:

    Is Toulouse-Lautrec considered a graphic designer?

    Monday, April 5, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink
  4. LindseyMarie wrote:

    This is a very interesting point that you bring up, Marzia! You are the FIRST person I’ve met that would prefer NOT to have your name attached to your work. So far, I feel as though designers WANT recognition for their work and this becomes a struggle for many in the field – when starting out.

    Designers might not be recognized, by name, as pivotal to the culture trends and movements. However, more importantly, our DESIGN WORK is pivotal. In a way, our work becomes our signature. So, it seems your blog title is entirely appropriate!

    Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 11:10 am | Permalink

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