Why I Say I Don’t Like Graphic Design

There’s something about graphic design that’s a little different from writing or movie-making. Something that makes me say I don’t like it, though I’ve long had an affinity for writing and movies.

What is it about design, then? I’ve chosen a college degree with a hefty load of graphic design involved, and it seems like people everywhere need designers—for print media, for the web, for logos, for special events. Everyone needs designers. It’s a practical skill, an applied art. But it lacks a spark of magic.

I’ve read books that make me forget where I am, that transport me to different times and places and even into a mind with different ideas than my own. I’ve seen movies that do the same for me. But design—design is interesting and beautiful, but flat. It lacks the power to hijack my mind and take me into a different world.

That’s why I say I don’t like design, even though I often enjoy it. I love the creative decision making, the challenge of arranging elements just right, and the satisfaction of a design job well done. But design only looks back at me from the page. It doesn’t come alive and suck me into a story.

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