On being a “pretty” designer

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Hmmm…today I received some feedback and I love positivity around my work, but sometimes the choice of adjectives is severely lacking. Yes, I am female. Yes, I am sometimes trendy. But come on, does being female really warrant the adjectives of “cute” “pretty” and “adorable” to be applied to my designs. Yes yes yes, I realize I shouldn’t be complaining since it is positive feedback and that can be hard to come by around here. And yes, the paper itself is pretty; pearlescent paper is. But I get these adjectives for EVERY design I do. Am I really a pretty designer? Is my work really deserving of these “kitten-describing” adjectives? Or is it because I am a female? I would just like, at some point in time, to have a different adjective. I have heard these same adjectives since I was in college and nearly half of a decade later I would like to hear something different. That may require a different approach to my design work, different material, different content. But it is a goal of mine for 2012 to have my designs require a different adjective to be applied to them. The current adjectives seem so superficial and I can do better. At least I hope I can. If not, I will have to bow down to the adjectives and just accept that is the kind of designer I am. A pretty one.


A "pretty" design


But what makes a pretty design? I feel like my designs have varied quite a bit but I still get the same responses. Here is a list of things I think contribute to me being a “pretty” designer:

    • Color choices. I guess this one could be obvious, though I was told my black, white and red design was pretty. Some color combinations are just pretty.
    • Content.I work for a non-profit company that revolves around blood/blood product transfusions and saving lives. While we could definitely go to the dark, dramatic and intense side of this (and I always want to), the boss-people tend to shy away from that and always want to make the content soft. They go for the heart-tug and as a result my designs reflect that.
    • Images. While similar to content, the images we choose can be pretty as well. See the content section for why my images may be considered “pretty”.
    • Paper or background.I love paper for this reason. It really can make a design come to life. The paper I chose for my most recent event program was a gold pearlescent for the cover and a champagne pearlescent for the text. Though flooded with color, this really makes the whole program shimmer a bit. It is definitely pretty and I am okay with this adjective here. (I’m still struggling with adorable though). The program is all about light and depicts candles, lamps, lanterns and the such and to have it shimmer really brings the vibrancy to life. On the web, a background color or texture can act in a similar way.

What else makes a design pretty? Are you a pretty designer? Am I the only one who seems annoyed and plagued to forever receive these types of adjectives? What are the adjectives commonly applied to your designs?

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