The field of graphic design has been an integral part of my life since I began pursuing my BFA in Graphic Design three and a half years ago. There are several valuable lessons I’ve learned in these few years.
Graphic Design has taught me determination. Dictionary.com defines determination as “the act of coming to a decision or settling a purpose.” Practicing graphic design involves continually coming to a decision. Typeface, color, layout, hierarchy, direction, imagery, and paper are just a few of the many words that represent a thoughtful determined design decision. But it hasn’t only taught me determination in the everyday decisions. Design has taught me what it means to set myself on a long term purpose and then to see it through to completion.
Graphic design has also taught me how to manage my time. Like many other designers, I am giddy when a project includes the luxury of a very distant deadline. Feeling as though every single possibility can be explored is an inspiring thought. However, life does not come with the luxury of endless time. Everything has a deadline that defines when the work must come to an end. These deadlines in design have taught me how to make the most of the time I have. It has taught me to work more efficiently to the best of my ability.
And lastly, graphic design has taught me to see beauty in the little details of life. My classes and internships have prepared me with a skill. They have sharpened my eye and design sensibilities to be acutely aware of the most minuscule details. I have found this is not only helpful for determining the appropriate distance between two letters in a header but also for appreciating the details in the world around me.
Graphic Design is not for the faint of heart. At times, it can be a grueling, heartless, self-refining process. I can give it all that I have and it will ask for more. It can seem as though I’m giving and giving to it daily and receiving nothing in return. But then, there are other days when I get to see the beautiful sun glistened fruits of my labors. And I am once again reminded that this career path I have chosen is one of the most worth-it endeavors I’ve ever pursued. I can’t think of anything else I would rather do.