9.12.2007

Nerds think research is fun.
Sometimes I really think I have the best job ever. Not only do I get to design on a daily basis, but in order to complete these designs, I also must research and understand the project frontwards, backwards and inside-out.

This is perfect for me because I am a naturally curious person. I'm pretty sure I get a big chunk of this from my dad. Growing up in the pre-Internet age, my family invested in a set of encyclopedias. There were many times we'd walk in on my dad sitting down with his nose deep into the encyclopedias. He'd hear something on TV or read something in a magazine that would pique his curiosity. And sometimes I think he would just randomly pick a letter and start reading.

I suppose I've always been sort of like this too, but I notice this characteristic in myself more now that I'm older. I'll hear something, who knows where, and turn to my trusty computer to look everything up. I really hope no one ever gets the chance to look at my past search strings, because I think they'd probably be frightened by how my brain can possibly be so all over the place.

Perhaps you wouldn't think this unwavering sense of curiosity would be such an important quality in a graphic designer. I mean, we just have to make stuff look pretty, right? But it's so much more than that. I suppose any old somebody can make something look alright with the right tools and enough practice. But as a designer, I am also a communicator. I'm charged with saying something to an audience, and I feel in order to do so correctly I have to know what I'm talking about. Otherwise I think the audience can see right through it. And they are smart enough to know that a lovely piece of crap is still a piece of crap.

One of the things that I love so much about my job is that my required research always takes me head-first into a full spectrum of topics. I couldn't be this random if I tried, and believe me, I'm usually looking up some pretty strange stuff on my own time.

These past couple of weeks have been a perfect example of just how diverse my projects can be. One day I find myself touring a factory where they are hand-making organic products with such care and passion. The next, I am reading up on the decades of past conflicts taking place amongst the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. Just one day later, I am looking up the most posh and expensive hotel destinations from all over the world (I just wish my research would require first-hand experience on that one). And tomorrow? Who knows.

Now before I leave you with stars in your eyes and thinking that this is all too good to be true, I should point out that it’s not always so interesting and glamorous, if you could even consider researching glamorous. Seriously, once I had to do a project about analyzing your pet's fecal matter to determine which illnesses they might have. That one is definitely NOT on my list of things I want to find out more about.

4 Comments:


Blogger Nap Queen said...

LOL on that last project. That sounds no bueno :( Were your encyclopedias Childcraft? We had a set of those, and I loved to read them!


Blogger L Sass said...

I love to do research, too. My coworkers tease me because we'll be talking about a random topic, the conversation will move on / everyone will go back to work and 5 minutes later I'll have a short report on whatever we were talking about!

I think it's a positive attribute, and I'm glad you get to utilize it in your job!


Blogger littlemissy555 said...

I'm the same way too. If I hear or read about something that interests me, I'll go on a bender looking up info on it. I too think it is a positive quality...I love learning about new things.


Blogger Michelle said...

research for projects can definitely be interesting, but i'm not jealous of that last one!

sometimes i wish i had more variety on design projects at my job that you seem to have, but that'll have to wait until i'm at an ad agency or freelancing i guess.

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