Design Reflects Personality

I have been a web designer for the better part of nearly two decades. I started as a graphic designer in advertising, but loved the freedom that freelance web design would afford me as a creative. My work as a web designer, is to some degree, a mirror of my personality. I think it is fair to say that by looking at a body of work created by any graphic (or web) designer, you can gain some understanding of their personality .

I am what I design

For example, the work of Milton Glaser, the famed American graphic designer, in many ways mirrors the intellect and exuberance of his personality. You know a Milton Glaser design when you see it. His love for drawing, illustration and the free-form line rebels against the pixel-precise vector style composition that personal computers brought to graphic design.

Milton Glaser posters - I am what I design

Posters by Milton Glaser

Reid Miles is another graphic designer with a personal style that defined his work. He created a vocabulary of visual cool that defined the Blue Note Jazz label from 1955 to 1965. It suited an idiom of music that was ground-breaking and on the cusp of style. His album covers did as much to shape our perception of the Jazz musicians he designed for as the music itself.

Reid Miles Album Covers for Blue Note Jazz Label

Reid Miles Album Covers for Blue Note Jazz Label

The same can be said of other noteworthy graphic designers who had the opportunity to do work that reflected a highly personal vision and style such as Paul Rand and Saul Bass.

I do not place my modest talents as a web designer on the same level as these noteworthy designers. However, I have come to believe that what we design cannot be fully separated from who we are. Our personality, principles and life experience forms much of the visual vocabulary we use for design. Am I an optimist or pessimist? Am I a people person? What is my personal sense of style? A careful observation of my work will give you the answers to these questions. I believe that this is true to some degree about most designers and artists. If we're allowed full expression of our artistic vision, what we are as individuals will be seen, to some degree, in our work.

I am what I design

Web Design by the Author, Don Peterson

Hopefully, the personality expressed in our web/graphic design is one that attracts paying clients. After all, this is a commercial endeavor. Personally, I have never concerned myself with what my peers in the industry think of my work. I don't need their awards or accolades. It is far more important that my work be deemed appealing by Mr & Mrs John Q. Public, the typical customer of the clients I work for. They are what makes my work a commercial success.

I Am What I Design