Everyone becomes a designer for their own reasons. Some folks want a job where they can be creative. Others use design to start a business or launch an app. And still others, god love them, just aren’t fit for any other line of work. And that’s actually what makes graphic and web design so great. The demand for cool new stuff is basically infinite. And there’s room enough for anyone who wants it bad enough to make a living making stuff. But no matter what your path or where you are in the journey, it’s definitely a great place to be. So presented in no particular order, here are the five best things about being a designer.
1. Making ridiculously cool stuff
Take a look around you. Every single thing you see, somewhere along the way, a designer asked themselves, “What should this look like?” At the risk of sounding obvious, the feeling of shipping a project and watching it go live never gets old. And the harder you worked and the more sweat you poured into it, the better it feels.
2. Surfing the internet for “research”
There’s no getting around it. If you want to do cutting edge work, you have to know where the edge is in the first place. Being a denizen of the net (or if you absolutely must, a “netizen”…) is essential to staying ahead of the trends. And if you happen to read a little celebrity gossip in there too, well, call it a hazard of being thorough.
3. Dressing however you want
Officially, creative people don’t have a dress code. Unofficially, in creative departments across the world, thousands of designers show up every day in variations on the classic plaid flannel and jeans. They do this daily, in perfect synchronicity, without ever having officially discussed it with one another.
4. Doing something different every day
If you work in a widget factory, you know every day will be spent making widgets. But when you’re a designer, there’s a hilariously wide range of tasks you might do in a given day. Besides nudging pixels around for 12 hours at a time, I’ve also met the brewmaster of a large Midwestern brewery, toured a paper processing factory, hung out with the head coach of the Green Bay Packers and waited around on a subway platform asking strangers what they were having for dinner that night.
5. Being part of an awesome community
In absolute all sincerity, there’s literally no better community on earth to be a part of than design. Maybe it’s because the pay is good, and demand is high for this growing skill set (See Designation’s average salary for a graphic/digital designer – updated for 2015). Or maybe it’s learning the design process is so misunderstood by those who don’t do it for a living, but there’s a genuine sense that designers need to stick together and help each other out. Feedback, job referrals, freelance projects and more are all likely topics of conversation wherever designers are meeting.
And with internet outlets like Dribbble, Reddit and many many more, there’s never a shortage of places to share work, swap tips, and continue learning and growing from one another.