Guide to Design: Satisfaction from the Design Task and from Design People

by Frederick H. Carlson
Guide to Design: Satisfaction from the Design Task and from Design People

To find true satisfaction from design, understanding the differences between "art" and art education, and "design" and design education will impact your views and fitness for your future career and education options.

When we think of art, especially in a simple, superficial, or nave way, we think of individual creation, mastery of process, and individual art pieces created for the satisfaction of the artist and the joy of the viewer. The measurability of "success" is purely in the mind of the creator/craftsman and in the heart of the viewer/audience. The realities of the design task certainly involve man's desire to create, of course, just like art, but the interests of the audience or user and the efficiency and measurable success of the product created become paramount.

When your professional role involves working with so many different customers and specialists, you become exposed to the widest levels of creative talent throughout this business. Everyone in this field is a creative specialist in their own way, and this is a key to understanding the breadth of the design profession. It is very humbling.

When I was considering my future collegiate education as a graduating high school student 30 years ago, and told my interviewing professor that I wanted to work as a creative person and felt most comfortable working with others, little did I know that the communal relationships inherent in the design process would be so eclectic and rewarding. I have come into many different business environments and been engaged with a wide range of design projects, and have gained immensely not just from the commissions and monetary gain I receive from my clients, but through the design process itself have learned much about how individuals think, act, and react to what they need and want.

As a designer, you will work with corporate communications project managers, marketing supervisors, brand managers, image developers, packaging experts, writers, strategic planners, researchers, teamwork developers, game inventors, and all levels of creative art personnel. We all get pleasure out of meeting project objectives, managing internal and external communications, creating presentations, educating consumers and employees, creating messages with unique visual direction, serving our accounts and customers honestly, and building bodies of work that grow and change with market conditions and stylistic trends.

Frederick H. Carlson is a highly respected designer/illustrator working in the middle-Atlantic region. From large murals to small CD and cassette covers, from fund-raising book design to annual report cover art, his clientele has covered every facet of the design discipline. Carlson worked in a design studio for 4 years before enjoying over 20 years as a sole proprietor. His commissioned and personal work has been shown throughout the U.S. and in gallery sites in Switzerland, Japan, China, and Canada. He works directly with corporate executives, communications managers, art directors, and in-house design departments as well as project designers who manage smaller design firms.

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