I AM a Designer (and You Should Be Too!)

Molli with an “i” is a high school junior who recently job shadowed me for a brief portion of her day. As I talked with her about the minutia of my job as a marketing professional, I mentioned that my favorite part of the day is getting to work with both hemispheres of my brain — the right and the left. The creative and the analytical.

“It’s because you’re a designer,” said the very capable designer on the other side of my officle (slang: office + cubicle). I gasped. She was right. I knew she was right because …

Simply put, I love design. I hover over the aforementioned designer’s shoulder all the time and enjoy our collaborations. But it’s not just that. It’s not just thinking of design in the context of graphic design. It’s the reason I love Apple and Target and Old Navy. I love the role that design — in all of its forms — plays in the modern market.

The latter two brands mentioned above are perfect examples. More and more it’s becoming less and less about the quality or price of your product (anyone can and will make a better widget or a cheaper widget). The edge you give your products is its design. Its very essence.

“I’m glad you said it,” I said to my colleague. You see, I’ve always been worried that people would view me as a poser or a dilettante if I labeled myself as a designer so I always watered my explanation down with the generic phrase “I work with designers.”

No more. I have seen the light.

I am a designer because of what I told Molli with an “i.” The fact that, for whatever bipolar reason, my mind (and if you’re reading this, probably yours too) has the ability to toggle between both hemispheres and synthesize real-world data into complex, creative solutions. Right and left. Creative and analytical. Yin and yang.

I am a designer because I think like a designer and approach the world as a design challenge.

The Point? Embrace your inner designer and think of it as your badge of honor that says, “I get why it’s not just about price and quality and ease of use and service anymore.”