During my school days, my Visual Communications lecturer used to share his thoughts and musings of being a freelance designer. He often mentioned that the technicalities of applying software were undoubtedly important in the execution stage but it is the message of our ideas that matters most and it goes beyond aesthetics. The concept, he emphasized, must be strong in principle and be able to create an impression that lasts, debunking the “eye candy” design myth.
I would add that design does not starts in a vacuum. What we create is relative to the places we go, people we meet, live with and experience from life itself. The impetus to create something of value comes with a conscious mind and our own self inquiry.
The ideas that sparked even during the wee hours bounced out from our constant debate of why we choose to design; for instance a logo or a letterhead for our clients.
It might take some time to generate concrete ideas and test it out by creating different samples but once we develop that thought process, i believe that we designers, could create a niche expertise for ourselves – that “systemic signature” design.