design is design.
I was just writing back to a potential client and wanted to get your feedback. Piggybacking on my previous post about freelance job posting sites (sad state of affairs), I got onto a tangent about how clients often request portfolio samples of designs within their exact industry or design category (like real estate company requiring designers submit examples of other real estate web design work they’ve done or barring them from bidding). I see this all the time.
There is obviously a layer of comfort an inexperienced client is requesting (“oh, he has done a real estate site before, phew”). I think what a lot of folks don’t understand is that for a true creative, design doesn’t have borders. Design is all around you, everywhere. A good designer can design a real estate site and a mountain bike magazine layout without missing a beat. While a designer can certainly choose to focus on one discipline or another, website design, packaging design, and brochure layout, for example, share lots of similarities in core design principles and overall aesthetics. The best designs are often the ones that are successful regardless of the technology or vehicle used for dissemination. I suppose that experience plays into this quite a bit.
Take user experience (UX) work for example… I know that from working on retail packaging for OtterBox, designing a successful package that stands out on a shelf, is easy to understand, open, put together, and still excites and educates the user on the product contained within, shares a great deal with designing the UI/UX for an online app. The same principles and goals exist even though the physical versus digital realms couldn’t really be further apart. They’re both studies in user experience and consumer appeal and usability. A package is still an “interface” that you have to interact with.
What are your thoughts?