However did the design world, graphic designers in general acquire this reputation for being snooty?
I’ve always found the design community to be accessible, supportive and client-oriented. They genuinely care about their clients and the client’s success. I go out of my way to defend the community any time someone has stated to me graphic designers seem a bit condescending. I’ve always responded immediately that it might just seem that way because “we care deeply about our craft” Like all artisans, people that care are passionate about their profession; try not to confuse elitism with passion.
My opinion, this is merely a perception rooted from two simple key factors; exposure and best practices:
1.The Design Community is very well-connected, savvy online and thus their opinions are more readily spread and accessible.
Part of a designer’s job includes staying abreast of new and emerging technologies. Quite frankly every other designer I have met or worked with is a bit of a gadget, software nerd anyhow, so this is just a natural extension, early adopters of technology. Odds are designers are on Twitter, have websites and are active in online communities, forums and social media. Other professional trades I find are not near as involved (the obvious exceptions being tech, web technology and marketing). I’ve also found the design industry as a whole, professionally, are incredibly well-read. Their commentary and written content carries more weight, they have the material, the expertise to back it up. The quality of the argument and writing is that much better for it.
I do have one reservation about part of this statement though…
Are so many designers social media connected because they’re unemployed or have no work (read: time on their hands)? I’ve observed my own Twitter and blog posts suffer in times of heavy workload, but I try to preserve a consistent pace.
2. Graphic Design is bound by specific rules and best practices
Fortunately our design forefathers have established a myriad of helpful rules providing a road map for successful design journeys. A good designer first learns the map backwards and forward, only then can they know exactly which shortcuts they can take, appearing to have successfully fulfilled the trip.
Anyone that takes a blind shortcut unsuccessfully or with blatant neglect for the map are dealt with swiftly (it’s visually obvious). Designers that have no map at all are easily weeded out as people with a pirated copy of Photoshop whose design experience involves making by-request footers for fellow forum members.
So my big advice to any design clients here is:
Treat your designers as any professional contractor or consultant. You’ve procured their services because they are professionals in their field. We are a surprisingly “servicey” lot and your success is our success. Be confident in their skills; any designer worth their salt should be asking you a metric tonne of questions about your business, clientele, goals and tastes from the outset. Our job is to navigate the choppy waters of design on your behalf; make you happy, whilst providing you with excellent design which will be your face to the world. I think you’ll agree, there is nothing snooty about that.