Measuring Up: Are You a Good Designer or a Great One?

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I was once told an inspirational little nugget of truth that I have clung to since, and allowed its influence to guide me along my path. The saying was told to me by an old manager whom I worked under for only a short time, but whose simple words stuck with me. He said, ‘Good is the enemy of great.’, and the words took a second to wash over me and for me to fully grasp what it was he was saying, but it was simply this. If you are content with being good, then you will never by great.

I thought about this for a while, as we often do when things strike us profoundly. In essence, we get to a point where we consider ourselves, or say our design skills are good and rather than continue to allow ourselves to grow, we stay stagnant. Satisfied with our progress to the point where, even if we don’t realize it, we stop progressing. We are good, and we know that, and as long as we are happy with that label, we will never strive to improve and possibly become great.

At one time, we are all beginners, but it is where we take ourselves from that starting point that matters. We all have different abilities when it comes to design, and though our strengths and talents may fall in different areas, it is how we play to and outside of these strengths that really set us apart. It is a case of good vs. great, and here is a look at what I mean.

Good Designer

A good designer has taken the time to learn the basics of design, on which they will build their foundation, and they settle comfortably into this place. They nurture the developed and inherent skillsets they have refined into a good fashion with which they begin to make their mark on the design world. A good designer listens to their clients and does whatever necessary to meet the demands made of them. They take few risks that might upset the norm and challenge the trends currently shaping the community.

A good designer takes on clients that do not ask them to reach outside their settled comfort zone, allowing them to not dare beyond their safety netted borders. They are never the best at processing and handling constructive criticism, seeing it more of an attack and reason to be defensive. A good designer is fine with being a good designer as long as it is paying the bills and keeping their portfolio stocked. A good designer is just that, good, and they are happy with that. Which means, they will never be a great designer.

Great Designer

A great designer is always taking time to learn more about the complexities and subtleties of design, never resting in their pursuit of knowledge. They do not settle into a comfort zone, because their passion pushes them to keep delving into, and trying new things. A great designer engages their clients guiding them towards the right design, overdelivering on the expectations placed on them. They are always taking risks in their work allowing creativity and ingenuity to lead them over the trends that are steering so many others.

A great designer takes on clients that challenge them to reach beyond their comfort zone, and dare into new territories and unexplored landscapes. They welcome feedback and use those critiques to further hone their creative skills and efforts. A great designer does not consider themselves to be great, as much as they see themselves as successful with a gallery of interesting and varied work. You see they are always striving for more and pushing forward, knowing not that they are great, but just that they are designers.

Defining – Where It Gets Tricky

Defining this is where things can tend to get more than a little tricky, because good designers can assign themselves the title as they deem themselves worthy and a success. But alas, great designers are defined by their work and by others, merely deeming themselves a success based on their line of satisfied clients. And though the cybersea is densely populated in the design arena, there are so many various levels of professionals working in the field it can be hard to get a barometer reading as to just where it is you land. Lots of people get hung up trying to figure out where it is they are, forgetting the most important part.

It does not matter where we are, just where we take ourselves from any one point that matters. Remember that this is a journey, and as such, the wheels should never stop turning. We all have within us the potential for greatness, however, some of us get sidetracked along the way by being good at what we do.

Where Do We Go From Here?

If the question is good enough for Buffy and the gang to poignantly ponder in song, then it is certainly good enough for this path to greatness, I mean, hello, she was the chosen one. Anyway, where do we go from here, is certainly the better question to be asking yourself, than where am I at? It indicates that desire to press on and keep moving forward, which a big first step on the path to greatness. There are a few things you can do to ensure that you are heading in the right direction and they are listed below.

Keep Moving Forward

Never be satisfied with where you are at in design. It is always changing and you should be growing along with it. You should effectively never stop learning. Keep challenging yourself to learn and do more, never let your skills and talent stagnate.

Be A Leader, Not A Follower

Guide your clients to the right design choices do not let them lead you to a subpar, phoned-in performance. Yes, listen to their suggestions and know what they want, but find the best way to give it to them without compromising your talent or reputation.

Try To Set Trends, Not Be A Slave To Them

Design trends come and go almost with the seasons, and there is no shame in designing in that theme, especially if you never have before, but do not let these whims become your only bearing for what to do. Think outside the proverbial box, and find new directions to veer off in.

Critical Thinking Accepted

The design community is available to garner valuable feedback and insight regarding your work, but you have to know how to take and use constructive criticism and not let it bother or deter you. Learn to identify true criticism from callous comments intended merely to upset you, and this will be easier to do.

Collaborate, A Great Way To Reset The bar

Working with others in the community is another invaluable tool you have at your design disposal for sure. This always challenges you to step it up a notch and push yourself more so than working with a client on a project can. This can also be a fun way to learn new things from other designers, good or great.

Stay Inspired

One thing that separates the goods from the greats is passion. Our passion keeps us inspired as long as we keep it fed and the flame fanned so it does not burn out. Always turn to new avenues to find inspiration so that your creative mind stays revitalized, and your perspective fresh.

That Is All On This End

So what are your thoughts on the differences between what makes a good and great designer? What else would you add to the list of things to do?

About the Author

Rob is an emerging author, celebrated podcaster and poet, and is an author and freelancer for Arbenting Freebies and Dead Wings Designs.

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  • http://www.mikeindustries.com/blog/ Mike D.

    Good post. Although the manner in which you use the quote is common, it was derived from a Voltaire quote which originally read:

    “The better is the enemy of the good.”

    … or a common translation:

    “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

    In its original form, it actually means the opposite of what it means in this new form. It means “don’t let the quest to be perfect prevent you from being good (or good enough).” Or to break it down into designer terms: don’t slave away for 100 hours on a kerning pair, causing you to miss your deadline and fail a project.

    The sweet spot is probably somewhere in the middle of good and perfect. For an interactive designer working at the pace we tend to work these days, I would say “as good as you are quick” is what I look for.

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      I like the idea presented by the original quote, though I had only heard its derivation before now. I myself, not an advocate of perfection due to its general unattainable nature. Nowhere in my post do I say perfect, only great. And I think I explained the difference between I mean by good and great.

      I would agree that somewhere in the middle of good and perfect is where one should land. Somewhere in the vicinity of great, perhaps, which seems about somewhere in the middle ground. :)

  • http://www.studio-worx.com Jason Skinner

    It is easy for a designer to get lost among the clutter. Very interesting article. Really makes you think…

    Props

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Thanks, Jason. I appreciate your time and kind words.

  • http://www.mikeindustries.com/blog/ Mike D.

    I think you just coined another good quote in that comment:

    “I myself, am not an advocate of perfection due to its general unattainable nature.”

    Very Voltairian…

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Aw, thanks, Mike!

  • http://www.crearedesign.co.uk Damian Smith

    Nice article Rob.

    It can be hard sometimes to go from being or even define between being a good designer and a great one.

    In my opinion there are minimal consistent “great” designers around at the moment. I think you have just got to be as good as you can be and rather be a consistent great designer be a good designer who can design great things as often as your creativeness allows you.

    I don’t see myself as a great designer, I learn new things every day and often find myself looking at a months old work and changing it so much in my head and not liking it anymore!

    Also I think a good rule to follow is too do what the customers wants, not what they say. A client can come out with all these ideas of how they want their design but as a designer you should look into who they are, what they stand for and design something they feel the client would appreciate more than their “non-designer-brain” ideas.

    Sorry, I’m in a talkative mood this morning! But too conclude, do all you can to be a great designer, learn all you can, devote as much time as you can too it and doing this will allow a good designer to design great things.

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Thanks for the thoughtful response, Damian. I really like your breakdown of what the client wants and what they say. So true. No worries, you had some good stuff to say!

  • http://www.tombradshawdesign.co.uk Tom Bradshaw

    Totally agree with you that a great designer is someone who sets trends and doesn’t follow them. Creating new designs and layouts is something I always try to do, as well as taking risks in my work and when they come off you get a real sense of achievement. I also believe that if you are someone who can both come up with a great idea as well as produce it to the end, then you can be described as great.

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Very true, Tom, very true. If you can conceive and follow through on a great design, it is very telling. :)

  • http://www.animhut.com/ sriganesh

    thanks for the detail and effective post, this will test my skills and things to be changed after reading this post !

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Cheers!

  • http://www.dind.nl DinD

    Good article – you should try to get the most out of yourself on every occasion. I think it applies to a much broader area, even for people in general…

    ps. I wanted to press submit, and thought: did I wrote the best comment I could make, or is there room for improvement. Funny how it directly activates the mind.

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      I appreciate you taking time to leave your thoughts. Much appreciated, DinD.

  • http://www.visualswirl.com/ Chris Thurman

    I like the ideas of forward motion. It can be hard when you compare to other great designers, especially if you’re just starting out. I know design has a lot to do with raw talent but having a drive to improve on whatever talent you’ve been blessed with will take you farther. Great post!

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Thanks, Chris, that forward motion is essential in my mind. Good to see others agreeing.

  • http://sideradesign.com paul

    “Be a leader”, that’s something I have to work on, because it’s not really my personality.
    If a client says “can you make that button blue”, I think, ok that’s no big deal and I do it.

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      I understand what you mean, Paul. That’s not always my strong suit either, but I think the fact that we can identify where we need improvement is part of that ever-important forward motion. Thanks.

    • http://www.culd.be Ruben

      I also have troubles with this one, although most clients are not designers, they always want to have the last word, because they are king and pay the bill.
      If you try to push your own ideas it often ends up in an embarising discussion between you and the client and takes a lot of energy and time.
      You, as a designer know it’s the best way, but clients are stubborn mules sometimes and there’s no way you can change that!

    • http://www.culd.be Ruben

      The best trick the designer ever pulled was convincing the world that he’s not the leader

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Ah, Ruben, I see what you are saying but what we are talking about is correcting their tendencies that pull towards bad design or UI. Being able to convince them of why these are bad design choices and will overall hurt their project. These elements should never be compromised, we just need to be able to step up our ability to discuss design in a transferable and poignant way. Make it relevant to them (and telling them that they will be turning people off should do the trick.)

      You are right, ultimately the decision does fall with them, and they are the ones that will have to deal with its outcome. But the better we are at explaining our reasoning to the client in a meaningful way then we are able to steer them away from bad design choices.

    • http://www.culd.be Ruben

      You’re completely right, just wanted to point out that in reality it’s not always easy to convince a client. If it doesn’t work, just deal with it and move on, instead of losing valuable time and energy.

      Nice article, BTW

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      @ Ruben – I appreciate that. I didn’t want to spend time qualifying each of the statements or it would not have only taken twice the virtual real estate, but it would impart less confidence in the advice (imho), so I appreciate your follow-up. :D

  • http://twitter.com/michalkozak Michal Kozak

    Great post. I always say, that if order to become great, you how to grow. Learn, learn, learn! There’s nothing worse that stagnation.

    The good thing about learning anad growing is – there is absolutely no limit. So you will never have the chance to say “ok, I did it, I am the best I could get”.

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      So true, Michal, growth and learning are two things we should never stop yearning for. Thanks for the comments.

  • http://angeliamclean.com Angelia McLean

    I agree 100% and try to do this in my fine art too. But, another thing to add is: This is all well and good but unless someone actually has a job, clients, a desk in a design firm, and fellow employees, knowing good or great is a little hard to come by. I am always reading from those that actually have careers and their advise but it’s tough to stomach this ‘sage’ knowledge when people only hire ’5 years experienced’ in this job market. How does one become great without a job?

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Not always true, Angelia, that is where the online community can help, especially with feedback and the like. As for jobs, until they come to you, keep learning and go to them. Contact potential clients to let them know about you.

      Also, another great avenue to explore, especially in the beginning, is to contact non-profits who tend to not be able to afford to hire someone for the work they do, and you can try to do some pro-bono work to build up your portfolio and to challenge yourself to explore new techniques and ideas. It may not net you a lot of income, but it is a great place to start.

  • Broacher

    Look how many people responded with the word ‘good’ in their comments. And even a ‘nice’.

    Ouch!

    As a signpost, I prefer the word humility, which in today’s hyper-individualized society, is often mistaken for self-deprecation.

    But in the genuine sense, it means a lack of self-pride. An understanding, confidence, and comfort with what you know, and what you would still like to know, but can still do good work with.

    Man, I sound like a Canadian!

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Oh, that’s okay, Broacher, us writers have a different measuring standard. :D If we get comments on a post, that’s a big tell right there.

      I agree humility is key, and I am a fan of the self deprecation, I didn’t want to come right out though and tell people they needed to be humble. Instead I allude to that with the, ‘great designers don’t think of themselves as great.’ They do not self apply this moniker it is more awarded to them by others.

      Thanks for the reply!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/_radekk/ Radek Kozak

    Nice article. I am strong believer that you should always learn, especially when you think you finally got everything figured out that’s when you should know you have to learn more. And if you don’t know where to start i’ll present you my favorite “coconut” advise, i’ve read on Scott Bourne’s blog. It’s a photoblog but i think it will work great for every kind of work you’re doing

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/_radekk/ Radek Kozak

    blah i forgot the most important stuff . “Coconut advise” link :

    http://photofocus.com/2010/02/16/a-lesson-learned-from-coconuts/

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      lol, I hate when I do that. :D Thanks for the kind words and the link. I will definitely be checking it out. I almost didn’t put that bit about keep learning in, because I figure that most people know that one, but I didn’t feel right in making the list without it. It is key.

  • http://ukre8.thevsproject.com George

    Good/Great article Rob!

    I am so with you on this. It is so easy to get caught up in being great, but that is only if you think you need to be there. What is this greatness that we seek, I think it exactly like you said… never being content, challenging yourself, taking risk, collaborate and giving back.

    All of these make you not only a better designer a better thinker. I think it is always great to get BETTER!

    No matter what level you are at in the field, there is room to improve. I am a firm believer in this. If there is no room for improvement, then you have lost it and should move on to something else.

    With all of the connections and wealth of information I am constantly learning, and that’s the way i like it.

  • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

    Thanks, George. I am glad to know that I am not alone in this stance. It seems there are a few of us who feel this way and it is inspiring to see. I appreciate you taking the time to leave your thoughts.

  • darwyn4

    great article, thanks! :)

  • Broacher

    What if the ”room for improvement’ is in the basement, with no windows, smaller than a walk-in closet, and smells funny?

    I think another element that separates the great from the really-good is simply opportunity and opportunity is, perhaps cruelly, perhaps unfairly– tied to fate.

    You can be talented, passionate and dedicated — but unless you get a chance to develop a leveraging advantage early on, you miss certain ‘windows’ of career advancement and it gets exponentially more difficult to climb away from the ‘art of compromise’ type of design work.

    Many people (particularly Americans?) have difficulty accepting this, and anyone who suggests it seriously gets accused of raining on the parade. But the thing is, rain happens. So does sunshine.

    I think Malcolm Gladwell’s examples in ‘Outliers’ illustrate this well. Bill Gates effectively stealing (and crediting this theft as an adult) computer programming time from the university when he was a kid; hockey players who are born at a time in the year which gives them a small but substantial long-term advantage in their career; the Beatles playing and developing their musical chops while underage in the German bar scene — the list goes on.

    And of course, the famous ‘halo effect’ — why beautiful looking people, will almost always do better, faster, and easier than (speaking for myself) the rest of us.

    Similar arguments for other social and physical advantages: wealth (corollary health and education), weight, height, skin colour.

    I think we’re all more comfortable in NOT acknowledging these truths, but I’m not so sure that’s because we don’t want to discourage others, or we don’t want to bring down (or feel guilty?) ourselves.

    Does it mean unless you have these advantages that you have no hope of developing greatness? No. But I do think it says something about what we consider to BE greatness is inextricably connected to the ideal of public celebrity-hood to a large extent.

    Ever look at a really ‘mundane’ design piece, say a form, or an instruction manual and think, “Wow, somebody really cared about designing this thing. This is great!”

    Or have you ever been a judge at a design shop and seen something that was obviously designed on the thinnest of shoe-string production budgets and you just KNOW it was a labour of love– even though everyone else ignores it because it can’t possibly compete with the visual power of more lavish productions?

    And maybe one of the biggest stretches of all for design, is to look at a design, say a rebrand and instantly recognize the many fingerprints of a steering committee all over the thing? The results work fine, but you know it would have been a sizzler if the designer had won the battle. Does that make that designer who lost that political battle a less-than-great designer?

    We tend to associate great design with great design projects. Ironically, some of the best, inspiring and beloved design artifacts from the past were often, in their time, the most mundane. Surviving more by accident than for the design value they contain.

    Which brings us back to humility. Maybe it’s more important than achieving industry or peer greatness. (Doesn’t it sometimes scare you that whenever you drop a name like Glaser or Saul Bass in non-designer company, and everyones says ‘who?’)

    So, something to think about next time you’re laying out that mundane… um, let me check my list… ah, say ‘newspaper ad’ (with six times the copy weight needed to pull off a decent layout). Maybe it won’t be recognized as ‘great’ by anyone. But it’s honest work. It makes the customer happy. It pays your bills, and keeps the kids fed and healthy.

    All that, especially in this business, can be a kind of greatness too.

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      If that is the case with the room, then you have to decide how much you want the improvement. :)

      As for the other points you mention, while they are true and very thoughtfully presented, I wouldn’t include them here, because this post is mainly focused on the things we have control over, unlike the instances you have brought up. Naturally advantage and privilege are going to play a huge role in any developmental access in any field or activity, but this more addresses again, those things we have within in our power to enhance and develop.

      I guess the argument could be made to an extent that we all have within ourselves the ability to make our own opportunities, but again since this is not that type of post, and that statement itself feels rooted in a privileged perspective, I will leave it there.

      This post is also not about equating that greatness with popularity or outward appearances of success. The success we briefly mention is more a self-perceived success, based on the designer’s ability to make their clients happy.

      Again, I appreciate the thoughtfulness of your comments and you taking the time to leave them with us.

  • Broacher

    Fair point. But then, maybe a more accurate title of this discussion may have been: Measuring up: are you a self-perceived success as a designer/human being?

    Hmm… not nearly as intriguing a hook as ‘great’ is it? We can’t help it: we are pre-wired and socially-conditioned to equate and evaluate our relative ‘greatnesses’ with others. Same goes for terms like ‘success’ or ‘genius’ or even ‘artist’.

    The self-proclaimed version of these terms have little social or economic value.

    We can’t help but smirk at any claims made to this effect. Though sometimes, given enough shock momentum– it can be pulled off as an act of pure willpower.

    (Said the self-proclaimed great singer/artist/designer/lover/genius Broacher.)

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Ah yes, but once again, we are not talking about success as evaluated by society and we talk a about when you land among others yes there is a desire to figure out where we land, but as repeated in the post, this is not about that measurement, and in fact the poast is specifically setup to lead you away from the commonality of the idea that we need to measure ourselves against others. So your title wouldn’t apply.

      And while I appreciate you trying to dissect it to a more philosophically balanced area, trying to write your own context into it isn’t really the way to go. I mean sure, you get to construct what must feel like poignant replies, but since they continue to reach beyond what the post was addressing your constructs are empty. Not nearly as fun when you cannot flex an indignant muscle as you seem determined to want to do.

      And again, we are not equating this personal journey with a social defines of success or greatness, so it doesn’t matter how much social or economic value the terms have, because once again, you are trying to apply a new context to the words, and as the writer, I hate to tell you, It’s not there. It’s all implied.

      But thanks for playing…

  • http://designthoughtfortheday.blogspot.com Ted Rex

    What a great post! Who doesn’t read that headline and need to read the body copy? I made this one of my three links on my Design Thought for the Day blog:
    http://designthoughtfortheday.blogspot.com/2010/02/02-17-good-or-great-designer-ugly-gov.html

    All the best, Ted

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Thanks Ted. Glad that you found the post useful enough to share with others.

  • Broacher

    If you’re very ambitious and competitive, you are likely DRIVEN to greatness.

    If you’re very curious, it’s more of a PILGRIMAGE.

    It also frames how you define greatness. And more collectively, success.

    Is it possible to be great AND unsuccessful? To yourself? To your social network? To professional peers? To clients?

    So much depends on some kind of shared understanding of the status of status. We’re social animals. We need that reassurance.

    And ultimately, what does it boil down to for your happiness level? is it possible to be very successful, and unhappy?

    Sometimes, an unhappy skeptic is a… happy skeptic.

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Your first statement here almost touches on the point of the piece, which is forward motion. Do not get hung up in labels, just strive to push forward. It resonates a bit of passion, which as mentioned in the post, is a main ingredient you need to push you.

      And no, it is how you are framing success. Again this is a personal journey so only the individual can answer the questions you follow up with.

  • http://jmwgraphics.com Jeremy

    Great article Rob! I especially like the paragraph “Be A Leader, Not A Follower”. Always a tough task to deliver exactly what a client wants, yet create something you’re proud to call your own.

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Thanks, Jeremy. Very well put.

  • http://jainamistry.com Jaina

    Great article. It’s so easy to settle into a routine when it comes to design and be comfortable with what you’re able to do and not push yourself further to become great.

    Inspiring post.

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Thanks Jaina. Always awesome to inspire!

  • daniel

    didn’t read all yet, but a great designer would have a print stylesheet ;-p

    • http://www.myinkblog.com Andrew Houle

      ha, good call :) It’s high on my to-do list.

  • http://www.5ewebdesign.com Yan Hughes

    The article is so inspiring! It provides me great support at what I have been trying to do — keep sharpening the design skills and never stop challenging myself…

    Great article!

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Thanks, Yan! I do appreciate your kind words.

  • Will

    Good post but “Critical Thinking Accepted” maybe be off. Lets face it, everyone is not a designer and therefore anyone can not give you a good critique. Get your critiques from people better then you and people that you respect as designers and that is how you grow as a designer.

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Thanks for the read and the comment, Will, much appreciated. And while, your statement has some merit to it, I think that you are overlooking two important aspects.

      #1 – Not everyone has to be a great designer to explain what about your work they like or disliked and why. They can also impart to you which parts of your work resonated and moved them, or that they were able to connect with. All of these insights can be invaluable, regardless of the individual’s talent.

      #2 – Given that your work is not going to be exclusively available to designers, it never hurts to hear ideas and thoughts on your work from those outside the field. Naturally, any corrective advice they offer will more than likely be discounted based on their lack of design knowledge (but is that always because we are right, and they are wrong? Or because our ego insists that they just don’t know what they are talking about?). I think we need to kind of get over ourselves, and honestly digest any feedback that people take the time to offer, even if their expertise in that field is questionable. Because we are all impacted by the design, any great one that is, so should we not all be allowed to highlight what we like and what we do not? And is this of no use to the designer, I wouldn’t think so.

      But that’s my two cents.

  • http://logoworks.com Clayton Shumway

    Great post. I especially like your quote “Try To Set Trends, Not Be A Slave To Them”. I think this is how the overused and overstyled Papyrus font got to be so popular…

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Thanks, Clayton. You may just be on to something there.

  • Kim

    I love this article and have sent it around…it not only pertains to designers but to life in general. Very good outlook!
    Thank you for the fun reading!

    Kim

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Thanks Kim. I am glad to hear that the article and advice has broader appeal than at first glance. Very appreciative of the kind words and the post sharing!

  • Gastón

    If you say you are better than they really are, your customers will be disappointed. If you are humble amaze your customers. Excellent blog. Greetings from Argentina and excuse my English.

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Very true, Gaston, very true! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts.

  • http://www.onetrendblog.com OTB

    Great article. I agree completely that you must never stop learning. When you decide to get into any design related field, you must realize that society is always changing, and since your job is to appeal to society, you must evolve as it does. This means always taking in your surroundings, learning new tricks, paying special attention to younger artists using more unorthodox techniques, etc.

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Thanks, OTB. Very well said. Evolution is key!

  • http://www.schoolsearch.in nik

    I think I am a great designer :)
    anyways good scale…

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      :) The humble approach is not always for everyone. lol :) Thanks!

  • Glaiza

    Nice post Mr. Rob!
    I mostly follow clients rather than pushing my thoughts into designs.. :(

    But then Keep Moving Forward and Stay Inspired! :thumbsup:

    • http://deadwingsdesigns.com Rob Bowen

      Hey Glaiza, thanks for the kind words. You are not alone when it comes to clients, this is an area that is uncomfortable for some, and so they tend to not ‘make waves’ so to speak. Also, thanks for the :thumbsup: !

  • http://www.migratedesign.com Laurent Jouvin

    Great article Rob!
    I may sound a little a little cynical, but being a great designer is not just about graphic design skills. It’s also about listening to the client’s needs and having the ability to turn out great work in spite of the endless changes they make you go through. Furthermore, t’s the level of perfection and quality of service that will make a difference.
    Thanks again for the article.

  • http://www.artistnos.co.uk Colin Hall

    There is a Daoist saying that goes something like “Once a blade is perfectly sharp it very quickly becomes dull”.

    I certainly enjoy the search for perfection, but I do so in the knowledge that I will never achieve it. I certainly wouldn’t consider myself to be great.

    Thanks for an interesting debate though :-)

  • http://www.kchains.com Sherry

    Great article , not good article.
    I try to be a designer first. Great designer is so far. hehe

    I like the words : Good is the enemy of great.

  • http://www.eurocars.ro/index.ro.html Inchiriri Masini

    Great article and very good the delimitation between good and great. I liked “A good designer is just that, good, and they are happy with that. Which means, they will never be a great designer” It can be applied in a lot of different professions.

  • http://www.eautomotivewebdesign.com Michael R.

    I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. Thank you for sharing very good idea.