Designers are secretly some of the most influential people in the world. We shape the reality in which we live in by creating and controlling the visual aspect of our surroundings. Advertisements, graffitis, shirt designs, brand logos, whatever it is, if it’s a visual element of a product, or an idea, there is a designer sitting at a desk behind it, bringing concepts to life, materializing the intangible.
As designers we must not take this power lightly, and must therefore understand the responsibility that comes intrinsically with such power. We not only have a skill, but also a duty to everyone around us.
Care about everything. Care about what’s happening in America, care about what’s happening in Venezuela, Haiti, France, Togo, Kenya, China, and everywhere in the world. Care about your neighbor, care about your client, care about any person that has less than you do, and anyone in need. Care about your profession, about your reputation, your health and the product you present at the end. Care about the leading, kerning and tracking, about the shape, form and texture. But most importantly, care about yourself. Can’t do anything good if you don’t value your own self.
Never stop. Read, ask, question, seek, wonder! Be curious about anything. Read about art, learn how to cook, a different language, documentaries, articles, seek knowledge and you’ll find it. Don’t ever think you know enough; there will always be something new to learn.
Go places, meet new people, take photographs. Always be on the look for colors, patterns, textures, faces, shapes. No two places are alike. The culture in the place you live could be dramatically different two hours north, or south from your location. Create a mental library of different visual elements you find wherever you go. Learn about other cultures as you go, their way of looking at the world will be much more different than yours…Use this new knowledge, take advantage of it, break the mould, create your own perspective.
Respect your profession, your peers, your work. Respect your clients, and their needs. Respect your job, and the people you portray. Respect other’s rights and their works. Having an unshakable sense of honor, is a must in a designer.
Remember where you’re from, who you are, what you do. How far you’ve gotten since day one. Who was there, and who was not. Remember every person that helped you get to where you are, and why you do what you do.
Make sure every project will be a new one. Be creative. No recycling projects, or none of that bullshit. Anything you create will be unique, and special. If there is no soul in it, then why do it at all?
Speak your mind. Always.