Graphic designers are an odd group, one which I am proud to consider myself a member. We’re always lamenting that nobody, especially clients, understand what it actually takes to design a piece of printed matter and bring it to life. It’s a common joke amongst designers that even our parents don’t really get what we do. Of course, we never really take the time to explain it properly, either. The net result is that most people think we pictures all day.
So, when I found this site, Printernational, I thought it might actually be a step towards explaining graphic design to the world. The site offers detailed, yet easily understood, explanations for common design questions like “What the hell is a Pantone?” or “Why can’t you just pull the photos off of our website?” It’s a great resource for designer and layperson alike.
For those of you more interested in theories behind design than the technical production, there’s this great compilation of essential design books and magazines. We all have our favorites, and the classics are classics, but my vote would have to go to Ellen Lupton’s Thinking With Type. It’s a simple, readable, interesting introduction to typography that virtually anyone could learn from. Her book DIY is pretty amazing as well.
As I move away from being a full-time designers and towards becoming a full-time account planner, I can’t help but think that the two disciplines have a lot to learn from each other. If more planners understood design and more designer understood planning, the world would be a better place. At least we’d have better looking Powerpoint presentations.