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"There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for." - Milton Glaser
Some kids know what they want to become at a very early age. This was not the case for me. In fact, it was not until my senior year in high school (when I was forced to choose a career path) that I decided the creative route was for me.
During the process of choosing a college, I kept thinking to myself: "What do I love to do the most?" After some thought, I realized that I had chosen 2 different art classes that would consume my senior year (later becoming 3 after I dropped Chemistry). Thus, it was clear to see that I loved art and design. Beyond design, I had a love for business. Being the daughter of an entrepreneur, I loved watching my dad build and run his own business. I took great pride in his accomplishments and his ability to provide a service to others.
So, even though I despised math I was able to put two and two together:
Art + Business = Graphic Design
After this mathematical revelation, I was off to Savannah College and Design (SCAD) with nothing but a portfolio and a dream. I decided to major in Graphic Design with a minor in Advertising. At the time, I did not realize how much this decision would benefit me.
But back to the question at hand: "Why graphic design?" Here's my answer (the extended version):
1. It blends all my passions.
Graphic design mixed all the things I loved into one major. It was the answer to my career path mathematical dilemma. In general, graphic design has given me the freedom to be an artist, creative, brand builder, designer, consultant, marketer and businesswoman all at the same time.
2. It gives me flexibility.
My options within the corporate world are boundless. My current position involves much more than just graphic design. I have been able to build upon those skills with experience and additional education in the areas of business and marketing. My work has become a lovely mix of art direction, production design/management, strategic planning, internal/external communications, event planning, etc. One day I could be printing booklets or flyers and the next day I could be designing decals for corporate cars or art directing a photo shoot. Though I am a very structured person in general, I love that there is some flexibility to my job. It makes me happy and keeps my creative juices flowing - which is important for every artist!
3. It allows me to be a "Branding Beast!"
Not only am I able to build a brand for myself with the help of graphic design, I am able to help others build their own brands too. It is so exciting to know that my craft can be applied to ANY business. The possibilities are endless. I have worked on projects in various industries such as healthcare, education, nonprofit, magazine, fashion/apparel, real estate, entertainment, etc. Graphic design allows me to take a vision and turn it into a reality. From concept to completion, I am able to get the job done.
So with that being said, if anyone does ever ask me "Why graphic design?" My short answer would have to be: "Why not?"
Be sure to look out for more "Branding Beast" blogs (from a "well-tamed" branding beast: Jennifer T. Graham) with topics to help build your brand.
Jennifer T. Graham, MBA | Creative Director | Branding Blog Post #013
JENNIFER T. GRAHAM