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SpecFM / Design

What is a designer?

What is a designer?

SpecFM / Design · January 8, 2018 at 12:04pm

Recently I've been thinking about the ambiguity of the title "designer". At this point in time, it's pretty much synonymous with visual artist, or someone who works with graphics and visuals. I know in more progressive countries people are starting to understand that a designer is not just someone who pushes pixels, but I still feel like the title is fairly vague.

Take for example where I live, Indonesia. I asked a couple of people from here today what they thought a designer was, and most of the responses I got were "people who do photoshop and stuff". However, I would sometimes consider myself a designer, even though I prefer using Gliffy over figma/sketch, or that I know more about UML and Class Diagrams than I do about typography or colour theory and what not.

I'm not knocking the title in anyway, I just had a few thoughts regarding this and wanted to see if anyone on here shared the same sentiments or could give me more insight into this.


January 8, 2018 at 4:39pm

I've recently been having this "identity crisis." I identify as a designer, but somehow it's not the same as one would expect of a designer. And this isn't just expectations of non-designers, but also of hiring managers and professionals in the industry. I've ben kinda paralyzed on how to present myself and what I'm even doing (damn you, impostor!).

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The biggest difference that I notice between how I see myself as a designer vs. others is where I start to explore — most I think expect designers to explore the visuals like colors, fonts, textures, but I know I like to explore ideas, behaviors, impact. I haven't found a good way to communicate that yet.

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January 8, 2018 at 7:38pm

Even in "progressive" countries like the US, some people think I design fashion

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Here’s another thread with some good context: https://spectrum.chat/thread/1fc2b3a6-78a6-4eae-a72c-2849cc3d8a91

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That said, I rarely hear it confused with artist. Most designers I know are not good at visuals at all - mostly flow-centric.

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@bryn I remember seeing that thread on Twitter. I mostly want to figure out how to present myself so that I can find people to chat in a more in-depth way about what I like about design. 😄

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