When I look at a magazine, the first thing I do is analyze and question. Are those photographs lined up evenly? Did they use the same font for every headline? Is the copy over a size 11? Why would they put that text box there? At this point in my life, these criticisms come naturally and automatically to me. It isn’t a conscious decision, and I can’t help but do it. I think, in a way, my eyes have learned to see.
As a painter, a long time friend and mentor of mine told me that one of the most important things in life that we can learn to do as an artist is see properly. Many others have scoffed at his words, but I know now that he is right, and the same can be said for graphic design. As human beings, we subconsciously notice elements and principles of design, which in turn allows us to find something to be aesthetically pleasing or not. What I’ve learned about design, these rules, in a way, help me to understand why something is good or bad. I no longer have to say “I don’t know, it just feels right.” Now, I can instead explain that the evenly distributed photo package, or the pleasing aesthetics of a sans serif for a headline, are what make a page work.
I’ve learned to be proud of my knowledge as a graphic designer, but I also know that I have a lot more to learn. The passion that I have for copy editing a layout or double checking spacing between photos won’t be what takes me farther in my career, I know that. Instead, I have to pair that passion with a thirst for learning, as well as a humbleness to be taught. I want to design, yes, but I also want to design things the right way. I want to create an exhilaration with my layouts, the same exhilaration that I get when I open the spread to any magazine.
On a side note, I also like photographing events and people. This is one of my favorite shots :)