What is a designer?

09.23.20

One of my favorite, yet least favorite questions to be asked is “what do you do?”. It’s the question as old as time and a guarantee in any small-talk situation. I hate this question, because I haven’t found an appropriate short answer. I could say I’m a graphic designer and that would be a correct answer, but I hate boxing myself into a corner with such a limited response. The general public can understand your job if you say you are a doctor, a contractor or an investor, but people don’t particularly understand what a “graphic designer” might do. Many people assume that a graphic designer just makes logos or puts two fonts together and picks a color. That it’s basically an adult art class.

I am so proud of my job and the type of work we do at Rokusek. I want to fully express that when I’m given the opportunity to talk about myself and my career. I want people to know that the projects I work on and the products we produce as a company are kick-ass. I never want to sell myself or my co-workers short by giving a bland answer when we are the furthest thing from bland. I think that is why I have recently started to refer to myself as a “Designer”. It means that I am a graphic designer, a digital designer, a web designer, an interaction/user experience designer, and if you saw my apartment, an interior designer. It alludes to the fact that my job doesn’t particularly have any boundaries or limitations to what I do. It’s hard to explain to people that my job doesn’t necessarily exclude anything. We are a creative agency and the ideas that we can come up with are endless.

So, then part two of the question always follows “So what exactly does a designer do?” I love my job and especially the fact that every single day I get to work on a different project. No two days are the same! So, this is when the question becomes fun for me to answer. (Sorry Linda, I know you were looking for a one word response when you asked me out of courtesy, but this is what you signed up for) One minute I could be laying out print brochures for a global manufacturing company, the next, designing packaging for a start-up coffee company, or designing a wrap for a 10ft trailer, or making an e-commerce website, or designing a trade show booth or making slightly provocative t-shirts with a bad joke on them just because the client asked for it! The possibilities of projects I could do are endless! Maybe it’s because we are in a creative field that I feel the need to give a lengthy and colorful answer to this question. But, I also want to open people’s eyes to our field so they can understand that us men and women behind the curtain, who run some of the most successful and globally known brands, are more than just a few people putting logos on paper. We control what you see, how you perceive it and ultimately control your response to it. It’s a bit more than just a logo. So, there’s my answer, I’m a designer. What do I design? All the things. So if you know what you are looking for or have no idea where to begin with your project, just ask a designer. We’re fairly creative, quite versatile and some of us are even pretty fun to work with (hint: call us)!