What’s your exact design style? Do you know?
There are designers whose artwork is immediately recognizable: Milton Glaser, Saul Bass, Chip Kidd, Michael Bierut, James Victore, Herb Lubalin, and Paula Scher. They each have a distinctive design style and a way of looking at the world. Creating brilliant, memorable designs for their client’s campaigns or themselves, that we respect and recognize immediately as being done by them.
I know I have my own way of doing things when I’m designing for myself or for Frogs Are Green, but as a service provider to my clients, it’s my role to adapt my thinking for what’s right for each particular client. It’s definitely a combination of the two. Bringing my own sensibilities of visualization, creating or selecting imagery, fonts, layout, structure and color palettes. Just like no two people are alike, so each company has it’s own outlook and mission and deserves a fresh original presence.
There are many designers and each with their own design style, yes? That’s why the right clients are drawn to each of us. If they are looking at different portfolios, then they see in it something that they know is right for them. This is what got me thinking about the difference between what we create for ourselves and what we create for others. This is especially true when we think of our own websites and the style we are broadcasting which is helping present the work we’ve done for clients. Is there a common thread between them? Do I have a very particular style?
I decided to ask my clients.
What others think my style is.
Most have responded with “Classical.” I find this to be true. Would it come from my upbringing? My family life was always surrounded by culture. Being taught piano and ballet at a young age, singing my heart out all the time (still do), and being introduced to opera, theater, museums and classic books from the start? One of my favorite things to do is still “high tea” all by itself or after a day at a museum. Is this why I love traveling to Europe so much, especially Italy?
When it comes to design, I do like space, whether white or a color, giving the elements room. I have some favorite fonts that I use, but of course mix it up. I am drawn to imagery that makes people think and want to look closer. Does this mean that even if I’m working on something fun and light it’s still going to have a classic look?
I know that if I’m designing the branding for a group of professionals, such as a law firm or financial firm, most likely that “classic” styling will be there, but what about a poster design for a children’s theatrical production? Even when it’s wild, funky or fun, is it still classic?
So, what do you think as a designer? Is there a particular way you approach all of your work, whether for yourself or for your clients? …or do you wear different hats depending on the particular client and assignment?
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