Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Talent Isn't Everything - 7 habits to master

Boxes and Arrows has a terrific article titled Talent Isn’t Everything. The article outlines 7 habits of highly effective graphical designers.

One example is habit #3 - be versatile:

Versatile and flexible designers can weather the economic ups and downs of a design studio because they can be staffed to more types of projects. A sure-fire way to shoot yourself in the foot is saying “I don’t do web” or “I don’t do print.” You’ll be seen as a diva and won’t last long.

"Herman Zapf, famous type designer, tells a story of his first job. He interviewed with a printer who asked if he knew how to use a process camera. Zapf said yes. He got the job and went straight to the library to read up on how to do it."

Unlike what Zapf would say, I still hear many designers proclaim, "I don’t want to design websites. It’s too technical." These designers close themselves off to the possibility of learning and growth as well as the reality of technology’s prevalence.

I've seen developers fall into this same versatility trap, ironically often with the topic of design. Basic design is indeed a topic that non-designers can learn, and goes a long way to making you more versatile.

The majority of the habits mentioned in the article are ones that developers should practice and master.

Do yourself a favor - read this article, and consider setting goals against it.

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