Independence day is the celebration of the birth of the United States of America. America's independence was fought for because of certain ideals and principles that guide this country even today. The freedom to assemble, to protest the government, to practice ones religion, and to speak without fear are just some of the principles we fought for, died for, and live by.
There are also a set of principles every good designer lives by as well. Not as lofty as the principles this country was founded on, but very important nonetheless. Here are my top 5 principles that good designers care about.
Care about the relationship with their client or boss
These designers want the lines of communication to be open, free, honest, and productive. They practice this themselves first, and expect their client to do the same with them. They want to solve problems promptly, and with mutual respect. They don't spend time in blaming, because they view their relationship as a partnership to solve problems, develop good work, and to finish in a timely manner. And so the designer understands their client's or boss's role, and their own role in the process of solving problems objectively.
Care about their client or boss as a person
Not only is the relationship with the client important, the client is important. For the client is not only responsible for paying the designer, the client is placing their trust in the designer. The designer understand this, and wants to prove trustworthy by caring about the client's business needs and perspectives. The designer listens to their boss or client to understand. The designer also respects the client's time. They are prompt at meetings and deadlines, and they keep in contact with the client when there is a problem or to share progress.
Care about what they do
Designers work on each project, no matter how small, with excellence. Each project matters and is the opportunity to do something wonderful and beautiful. So the designer uses their abilities to do good work, even when they are donating their services, or a project doesn't seem exciting. The designer makes it exciting.
Care about the profession
Some designers will undercharge or produce shoddy work just to get paid. But many good designers realize that this affects not only the client but the whole creative industry. What they do sets an expectation with the general public of the place graphic design holds in business value and in public discourse.
Care about themselves
It's all too easy to burn the candle at both ends. Trying to meet multiple deadlines, staying up late, and trying to stay creative can wear on a designer's ability to do good work. Good designers consider it imperative to take care of themselves. They understand to produce good work they need reasonable deadlines. They may not get them all the time, but if more than 50 percent of their deadlines are unreasonable, they know that something is terribly wrong. They will make the necessary adjustments to continue to produce good work. They also consider rest a necessity rather than a luxury. And they look for creative outlets on a near daily or weekly basis.
Photo courtesy snowlepard of Flickr.com