Purpose is Power
I’ve been reading a bunch of articles recently that have really got me thinking of my place in the world as a designer, and how my role pertains to the graphic design realm, and other graphic designers around me. There is a heavy trend in design blogs right now, that declares illustrator’s ownership over the title “graphic designer” and I can’t help but think, is this factual? Or is this just another egotistical struggle over a title?
The point I want to make (as concisely and accurately as possible,) is that there is indeed a difference between illustration and design. Illustration is merely a component, as is typography, color and messaging. I think that what this all boils down to is purpose. If it is in the best interest to communicate visually by a series of illustrations, or illustrative type or hand-drawn type or whatever, then absolutely, illustrators are designers and should be considered as much. I think what is happening here is that illustrators that are identifying solely as illustrators may be feeling trivialized by titles, but don’t forget, design isn’t about ego.
The whole reason for design is communication, and we all know that there are way too many ways to communicate nowadays. Just make sure you do it with purpose. Stick figure, 105pt Helvetica Bold, or the cat heart eye emoji. Just do it effectively.