7 Common Misconceptions About Design
Written by Joseph McLean
24 August 2018
Information technologies gave a lot of power to professionals who don’t fit traditional business norms. All sorts of new occupations emerged in the last couple of decades - from ghostwriting and programming to data science and app development. This may cause some confusion, of course, so people make false assumptions about these professions.
Graphic design is certainly one of the most underrated and least understood jobs of our age. Even if we take a look at the definition, it won’t help us to set things straight.
The design represents the “realization of a concept or idea into a configuration, drawing, model, mould, pattern, plan or specification (on which the actual or commercial production of an item is based) and which helps achieve the item’s designated objective”.
Given the fact that it’s rather difficult to define the concept, it is not surprising to see so many misinterpretations related to this job. In this post, we will show you 7 common illusions about design.
1. Design Is a Tool
Most people (even entrepreneurs!) believe that design is nothing more than a tool, but they couldn’t be more wrong. In case you could define graphic design as nothing more than software or computer program, then why would you need human designers after all?
The truth is that graphic design is a process that requires a thorough understanding of business, design tricks and history, as well as tools such as Adobe Illustrator. According to web design specialists at the essay service, prolific designers must know a lot of different things:
- Understand the given industry to create final products that fit the business goal.
- Be aware of consumer demands and the way customers will use the product.
- Learn the client’s specific branding strategy.
- Combine all these elements to ensure future success.
2. Design Is an Art Form
The design is the creative process so it must contain art elements. It surely is, but it’s not a reason to declare it an art form sui generis. On the contrary, most designers who come from engineering schools would probably tell you that graphic design is a science.
As usual, the truth lies somewhere in between those two opinions. Graphic design requires a fair share of author’s inspiration but it also needs to follow a set of very strict professional rules. Besides that, designers have to meet clients’ demands and the very nature of their industry.
In such circumstances, it wouldn’t be right to put the equal sign between art and design. There is no need to put everything in the same basket, so let’s just call design what it really is – design.
3. Design Is Only Supposed To Be Pretty
The third misconception on our list goes hand in hand with the previous one. Even if you can’t resist the feeling that graphic design is the form of art, why would you think that it only has one purpose - to be beautiful in the eyes of a beholder?
Some of the most influential artworks like The Raft of the Medusa or Guernica have powerful political connotations. The same goes for graphic design since it always wants to fulfill many other purposes besides aesthetics.
While the graphic design has to be pretty to grab the users’ attention, it also needs to provide them with practical features. Therefore, the design is a mixture of form and function and it is not only supposed to look well.
4. Designers Don’t Need Formal Education
According to the widespread belief, graphic designers can quickly learn the industry basics and figure out how Corel Draw or Photoshop work. For this reason, an average person is convinced that designers don’t need education, both formal and informal.
What they don’t realize is that graphic design is not an isolated discipline. It’s a set of different disciplines that demand vast knowledge and thorough understanding of the subject. Of course, we are not talking about amateurs and beginner-level designers.
Proficient professionals know that the only way to become successful is by learning hard and investing a lot of time in courses and training. Having a college degree in graphic design is a big bonus because it ensures you understand your job both in theory and practice.
5. Design Is Easy
Here comes another very frequent mix-up– graphic design is a piece of cake! People really believe that it’s easy to make a career in this industry because you have all sorts of practical and intuitive tools at your disposal. Besides that, they know that many websites offer stock photos and other visual elements free of charge, which only makes the job easier.
However, this is not the truth. Only the worst designers rely exclusively on well-known solutions and don’t look beyond industry standards. On the other hand, the best designers always add a personal touch to their products. They want to distinguish themselves from competitors and that results in beautiful and highly functional final products.
After all, studies reveal that an average graphic designer earns more than $42 thousand per year. Do you really think it’s because their job is easy?
6. Design Is All About User Experience
User Experience (UX) definitely holds a major position in graphic design. Each product you make should provide clients with a variety of different features that need to be both functional and accessible. But it doesn’t mean the graphic design is all about UX.
Companies are always consumer-centered, but they have other goals in mind besides that:
- Sales: Businesses want to sell products or services, so they need to add conversion elements that mostly interfere with user experience.
- Education: Companies want to keep users informed about their products and services, which doesn’t necessarily make users excited.
- Ads: Paid advertising brings a lot of money to apps and websites. Things like banners or pop-ups disturb visitors, but they will never be eliminated from the design equation.
7. Design Is Expensive
The final point on our list is also the one that annoys designers the most. A popular belief that design is expensive comes as the direct result of the previous misinterpretations. This is why everybody wants to have a beautiful website, but not everyone is willing to pay accordingly.
Let us remind you here - people think graphic design is easy because it’s just a tool that doesn’t require formal education. This is exactly why they believe designers don’t deserve a decent compensation. Since none of this is true, we can only conclude telling that design is not expensive. Designers do their jobs and expect to get paid for it – just like you do!
Graphic design is a relatively new industry that still raises eyebrows and makes a lot of people confused. Many entrepreneurs don’t know the real purpose of this profession and over-simplify things or mix design with other disciplines.
In this post, we revealed the most common misconceptions about design. Does it seem more logical to you now? Do you have any other issues that still make you confused and uncertain? If you have more inquiries, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment and we’ll be glad to answer you.