I’ve never called myself a graphic designer. I’ve designed business cards in the past, but I don’t think that any of them would win awards and I only ever did these once the logo was supplied. I curse every time I open illustrator and I’m convinced that I only ever used 20% of the Photoshop features. I consider graphic designer, people who know their Pantone colours from their CMYK and care passionately about paper and print material.
Don’t get me wrong, I love printed material, but I wouldn’t know how one goes about selecting the right paper and ink. As a result of “lacking” this skill, I’ve been very opened to working with other graphic designers. Usually they will approach me in the middle of a project and say something like this:
“We’ve been working with company ABC and did a bunch of printed material for them and now they want a website. Can you help us?”
In the past few years, I’ve been working more and more on other people’s design and have learned a great deal. It’s simply staggering the number of different approaches to web design there are. I must be missing something about Illustrator’s capabilities, because it seems to be the favourite tool amongst graphic designers.
I recently finished a project for the BCRPA’s Physical Activity Strategy (PAS) initiative. I had the pleasure of working with Dean Kujula from Kube. Dean created the icons for the PAS website and prepared a website design. Once approved, Dean asked me how I would like to receive the files and what version of Photoshop I was using. I was quite impressed with the result. The file contained multiple folders, each carefully labeled and ordered. I don’t think that I’ve ever worked with such well organized material.
I constantly meet newbie web designers who want to do it all; logos, branding, brochures, cms, web design…. I’ve come to the conclusion that working with experts and people who are more talented then you is a much better way to expand your knowledge.