Do you have a personal design philosophy?

Lisa S

New Member
Hi guys,

I was wondering how many of us have a personal design philosophy and try to stick within it when designing?
For example taking personal ethics, environmental/social responsibilities and so on in to account?

This is something I have looked at for my studies and it intrigues me. :icon_smile:
I cant say that I have a philosophy as such, it's more a case that I try to learn from my mistakes and not make them again. I guess if you want to put that into a short simple thought that governs the way I work, it'd be "How will this affect my reputation".
I try to only work with ethical companies and businesses. Working for a studio, you don't get any say in who you work for. Most studios only see the pound signs big clients bring, without considering much else. This is one of the main reasons I opted to start my own business.
Paul- I understand what you are saying about not having a say when working for others. You must feel quite strongly about the matter for it to be one of the main reasons you started your own business. I to feel quite strongly about the subject, I personally think it is a trade off. I have my own ideas about ethics and responsibilities as a designer but I find it is sadly not always possible to stick with these 100% :(
I made my girlfriend laugh before when talking about work. This was in two parts, but I paused too long on the first part.

Literally what I said was

"My philosophy is 'get the work done'..."

Pausing too long caused her to laugh out loud and ridicule me right to this very day!

I had more to add to that but I can't remember.

That is my philosophy though. No matter what - meet the deadline.
I don't have a philosophy as such, mainly because can't afford to be too choosey with who I do work for etc. But I do have a kind of 'slogan,' which came about by chance; 'Style Comes With Creativity'. I guess it could loosely be my philosophy. It was originally for an online T-Shirt store I had many years ago, and it just stuck with me, as the word 'Style' has several relevant meanings, which relates to what I do and how I want to work.
Thats a great philosophy hankscorpio :)

CLHB - I hear what you are saying about not being able to afford to be to choosey. If only we were able to choose more often…
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I don't have a verbalised philosophy but if I do strive to put as much of "me" into anything I do. Whether it be a little detail or a side project that allows me to vent some creative juices I try my best not to allow the job dictate my assignment...completely.
Do any of you feel we are able to help make changes within society through graphic design?

Absolutely, and this goes for the smallest one man freelance designer right through to the largest of companies. Visual communication is one of the most powerful tools used to influence society, it is just unfortunate if it not always in a positive way.
My Philosophy is that success in design is measured by function. Therefore everything I design MUST, above all other concerns, fulfill it's function, and fulfill it well! It seems obvious, but it's amazing how often that philosophy will help you maintain a focus on what is really important in any given design, and that when you come up with an idea but ask of it: 'will this help the design achieve it's goal of "XYZ?"', it's often a no. It stops you making things pretty for the sake of it, over-complicating etc. There are countless designs out there that have been decorated needlessly by things that make no sense and serve no function - so instead they distract and weaken the design.

It's a simple but powerful philosophy - one that is taught to every design student, so it's far from unique. But it's really stuck with me.
I agree! Looking in to this subject always amazes me with the total differences in views some designers have.