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10 Graphic Design Paradoxes by Adrian Shaughnessy

admin @ April 9, 2009

I’d first like to recommend Design Observer as a blog to check often. That is where this article comes from, as well as some of my other posts. Adrian is finishing up another book about the softer issues with graphic design as he puts it that this articles begins to explain. Adrian is the writer of “How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul” which we have read excerpts from in class.

To give you a preview, here are the top eleven graphic design paradoxes Adrian goes over. (there is slightly more explanation in the article)

01: There’s no such thing as bad clients: only bad designers.
02: The best way to learn how to become a better graphic designer is to become a client.
03: If we want to educate our clients about design, we must first educate ourselves about our clients.
04: If we want to make money as a graphic designer, we must concentrate on the work — not the money.
05: For designers, verbal skills are as important as visual skills.
06: Ideas usually fail not because they’re bad ideas, but because they’re badly presented.
07: “I’m a professional: I know best.”
08: “All the good jobs go to other designers.”
09: The best way to run a studio is to be domineering and forceful.
10: If we believe in nothing, we shouldn’t wonder why no one believes in us.
11. When a client says the words — “you have complete creative freedom,” they never mean complete creative freedom.

The article didn’t go into too much detail about what exactly these paradoxes mean, but certain ones that intrigued me enough to think more about are numbers 3 and numbers 7. We had talked in class about our obligation to give our educated opinion to the client, but is our educated opinion always knowing best.

What other paradoxes get your thinking about what Adrian is saying?


One Response to “10 Graphic Design Paradoxes by Adrian Shaughnessy”

  1. Print Create says:

    Thoughts on Graphic Designer Paradoxes from a Freelance Writer

    In a recent blog post by Kansas City Art Institute entitled10 Graphic Design Paradoxes by Adrian Shaughnessy, a list of graphic designer paradoxes presented and explained by Adrian was compiled. The author of “How to be a Graphic Designer without…