Design thinking with an audience.

I recently held a talk at the Meron café with @Vlad Șulea – whom I thank for the invitation – about the art, pleasure, and utility of making things with one’s hand, i.e., “old-fashioned” graphic design without computers, photography, or graphics software. For me, it was a pretext to show the audience of students, young designers, and other interested people that mastering the specific tools of the trade helps us enormously to visualize and realize design and branding projects.

Just as a good bricklayer must master the trowel to perfection, designers have a decisive competitive advantage if they acquire the power and skill to represent and create ideas through practice. The job of a graphic designer is a practical one, on the borderline between the technical and the artistic, where the artistic part is all about using the means of artistic expression to conceptualize and convey a message, whether it is product packaging, a poster or anything else that helps communicate a product or service. Mastering the tools, the technical notions, and the basics makes you confident and able to see in perspective the result you are aiming for, leaving no room for uncontrolled experimentation or personal or artistic gestures. After all, a graphic designer who deals mainly with commercial projects is a universal soldier, a “mercenary” who solves requirements and situations and constructs messages according to a pre-determined purpose.

Between lines, without explicitly mentioning the notion of “design thinking,” I have implied that any graphic design project is carried out according to a conscious and rigorous process of successive ideation and representation, subject to pre-defined criteria, until the final result. Without these constants in the realization of a design project, the “creator” can get lost in ideas, lacking a thorough education and the power to enunciate and process criteria.

In summary, the discussion lasted over an hour and a half, and the time flew by. I had a great pleasure to share from my 30+ years of experience and some relevant case studies and examples, some of which can be found on our website, www.branzas.ro.