Myth Buster from a Graphic Design Company: “Art Just Isn’t Practical”
While some corporate work cultures might confine their people to cubicles and maintain a strict feel, the often open, creative environment of a graphic design company aims to encourage exploration, collaboration, and breaking down borders in order to arrive at the next big idea. Team members are not always confined to their particular departments. They like to jump around to see what is going on around the office and help each other out. They “wear many hats.” There is a lot of crosspollination of skills and backgrounds, so things are interestingly fluid. Someone may have videography skills and end up being a web developer once they start working at a place like this. Someone might be into marketing and become a copywriter. You may even come across someone with graphic design skills who wound up in business development. Is this a waste of talent? No way.
We’ve heard a fellow graphic design company refer to its employees as a bunch of Brock Holts (it’s an inside joke of sorts, and endearing because, being from New England, a lot of them are Red Sox fans)—and why do we love this? Well, it is often the unique culture of a graphic design company as well as that of other creative agencies which helps expose an unfortunate misconception about art. It is not just decoration. Art is everything, and in turn, nearly everything is an art. It is necessary. It is not defined by that painting hanging over the sofa that you never quite figured out why you purchased in the first place. It’s not just that obscure statue that you saw in a museum once, wondering why in the world others were ogling at it and stroking their beads in awe. Art has purpose. Some people think it’s just something you stare at and not something that one should go into as a career. They see it as a mere hobby, something meant to stay in the background and kind of blend in, not as anything particularly practical.
Arguably, or at least as we know it, as a graphic design company, art is actually one of the most practical things you can do. Design and creativity can be found in so many different industries, from engineering to science, marketing to communications, entertainment, and beyond. It is omnipresent. It strategically encases items you buy in a way which piques your desire (package design, whether you realize that is why you picked up that particular bottle of shampoo or not), it’s the clothing you wear every day (fashion design), aerodynamics and efficiency when it comes to the car you drive (industrial design), how your kids keep themselves occupied (video game design), your dinner (culinary arts), the magazine you read or TV spot that pulled you in with its careful choice of language (creative copywriting), subliminally convincing you to take some sort of action or stirring your interest about a product or service (creative advertising).
Wherever you turn, it’s there, and it’s not going away. Creative ideas are what get things done and carry us into the future on a daily basis. So the next time you wonder why you see someone with an art degree “just” crafting a word document or drafting emails, consider that this is being done in a way that intends to spark intrigue in a potential client, and know that this is still art—art that is potentially going to bring about an action. It’s all about strategy: what each person or department does with its specialty and how. The various departments and skill sets at a creative firm may seem different at first, and they indeed depend upon each other to form the “whole” that is expected from a “full service” agency… yet they are each types of “arts” at their core. Everyone can and should be involved in creative processes, in every type of business, if they really want to get things to happen. Without it, the world would be at a standstill and not spinning into the future proving people are capable of coming up with the kinds of innovations we’ve been seeing thus far.
So wake up and get creating, people!