I started this series on how to recognize a design professional with an overview on the of the main traits you should expect from your design pro (graphic, web, whatever). We’ll start with one of the most important characteristics of a great designer.
A Professional Designer Listens Well.
Their capabilities to listen to how you describe your project is a very telling aspect of the seasoned designer. Lip service is easy, but really listening means the designer is able to integrate your information with their own design knowledge. This takes brain power and non-professionals get overwhelmed.
A design pro has mastered the tools of the trade in a way she’s able to be flexible enough to come up with solutions to the challenges you pose that aren’t necessarily boilerplate knock-offs from the formulae created for other clients. She knows each client – though there may be similarities – is different.
Every client’s needs and wants are unique. Good design isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. Mind you, there may be indistinguishable aspects between your project and a competitors’ but a design pro will find ways to get the necessary information from you so she understands fully what sets you apart. Therein is the alchemy of professionalism.
The experienced designer really shines in this regard – much better than any high school hack with a laptop and inadequate allowance. Unless, of course, that hack’s been designing since he was a Cub Scout. But if that’s the case he’s a pro too!