Please don’t box it all up

This is a rant about professional treatment… and treating other fields/industries/professions the way you would want yours to be treated.

We are graphic designers. We like to call ourselves designers, because we are, but we do not introduce ourselves as graphic designers anymore because of the stereotypes associated with the profession. People put us in a box when we introduce ourselves as “Hi, my name is so and so and I am a graphic designer”… a light immediately turns on in whoever we are talking to and they immediately ask, “so do you do logos or brochures?” We don’t like being put in a box and that is why we introduce ourselves as designers even though our Masters’ degree in this grad program is in GRAPHIC DESIGN.

So (this is where the angry part of the rant starts) if we as graphic designers do not appreciate other people working in separate fields putting our profession in a box, how can we feel morally right in putting other professions, like “business”, in a box? I put business in quotes there because you would like to think you aren’t in a business just because you didn’t study it or wear a suit everyday, but as long as you are making money from other people, guess what? You are in a business. If I use words like “client” or “consumer” in a presentation red flags immediately starting popping up in my peers and they shut off because they think I’m presenting some type of business proposal instead of a design project. You would have to not get paid for whatever you do in order to not be associated with the term business. We (now, I’m using “we” here to put graphic designers and business people and every other professional in the same category, don’t be alarmed) all need money if we have jobs, and we (this is just graphic designers now) would like to think that our work is different because our motives are “pure” or our intentions are “good” but so many other people in other professions believe their intentions are good and it is our individual perceptions that make us believe differently of each other’s motives for making money. We should not judge what we do not understand, and we should not put other professions in a box if we do not want graphic design to be put in a box.

I know that the way I just wrote this is not nice or friendly enough to open up the minds of others who do put professions in boxes, but sometimes you just have those days when you are fed up with censoring what you say so that the judgements of others do not put you in a box. I am having one of those days.