Saturday, 13 October, 2007

Do graphic designers need to be flashy?

This post has nothing to do with Adobe Flash, but something which I found more serious and interesting. The question came in my mind as a reaction to a reply that I got from a blogging community Bloggers @ Orkut. It is a community, as the name says for itself, for those Bloggers who are a member of the social networking site Orkut.

The community in question has a forum where one can display their blog links, do link exchange and rate others blogs. For the past couple of weeks Id been posting links to my blog in this forum under the thread Blogger game. This is a place where one can rate the blog mentioned in the last posted message. It is another great way to visit new blogs, rate them on the basis of look and content (on a scale of ten), making people aware of your blog and to get your blog rated too by others (visiting the same thread). Its a fair chance for every body! Im getting quite a good traffic from here and also some fair rating for my blog (7/10 is not that bad!). I also got my first comment on this blog via Bloggers @ Orkut community. Thank you Priti, Vinodh and Matty for posting a topic-relevant comment here!

Now let me come to the point. A few days ago when I posted my link there it was Chintan (a member of Bloggers @ Orkut) who rated it. His rating accompanied a brief remark along with the usual link to his blog. Now, there are actually very few members who post a remark or a critical note besides the rating (and that includes me!). So, naturally it generated some interest in his blog and him. The remark I got was:

7/10 Good content. The feel of the blog isn’t very positive”.

The first part of the comment would make anybody happy but the second part was a bit intriguing. What did he meant by the feel of the blog being not very positive? I thought it was better to ask Chintan himself for a clearer view. So, I posted another message asking for the same without expecting to be answered. In my experience the members in such communities rate a blog, post their links and disappear only to resurface after a long time. But surprisingly I got an answer, and I got it fast! And I must say it was not just an answer. I felt like being shot. I felt like being questioned about my professional abilities. I felt like being put in a life threatening situation. His reply was:

u r a graphics designer ... it has to show on your blog ... the template is too plain... I wouldn’t mind an investment banker or a school teacher having such a template ... just an opinion ... u might be a modest guy who doesn’t like flashy things but try making it a bit crafty.. .

It made me think. Is being flashy a mark of a graphic designer? Is being plain or less flashy a discredit for designers? Did he think that graphic designers are people who need to be sporting graphics all around???

While I believe how your blog looks is a matter of personal choice (which Chintan did point out) this remark has brought to fore (in my opinion) a false impression about the graphic design profession itself. So in my forthcoming posts Id like to shed some light on various aspects of graphic design. What it is actually about, the processes involved in, the principles behind it and what prominent design bloggers, whose blogs Ive subscribed, have said about this topic in their blogs. Stay on!

Your take: If you are a graphic designer do you think your blog/website need to be essentially flashy?

Do share your thoughts in the comment box.


Ritwik Banerjee said...

Well, to begin with, let me admit that I am not a graphic designer, and I know nothing about it.

But from what I understand about the profession, I would say a graphic designer should use a blogging platform that gives the user enough independence to decorate the webpage. Blogger simply doesn't allow you enough room!

If you can, then please switch to a premium wordpress blog, it's almost as good as having your own website!

grafic7... said...

I'd agree to that usability part of your comment ritwik. I came to understand that advantage of wordpress too late...Yet i'm too lazy to shift to a new blog.
I've been mulling over that... Might try your suggestion in near future.

DesiSpin said...

Well a graphic designer does not need to essentially have a flashy website.

However a graphic designer should certainly have a blog or site that reflects the person's taste in designing..

Its natural that people expect a graphic designer to bring in something 'extra' to the website..

Dont u think so?

grafic7... said...

Something extra! can you please tell what more could i include into this blog to make it more interesting.

I have been thinking over it for a couple of weeks. And now I have a new header and footer done. I'm going to put them over here shortly. Not a radical new design but something that I liked. You know it's very difficult to design for oneself. Ironic it may be but it's true!

So I earnestly look forward to creative suggestions from all my readers.

Hakuna Matata said...

hey not necessarily flashy, atleast something to catch the attention?

David Airey said...

I'm with Ritwik.

It'd really help if you switch to a blog that hosted on your own server, as opposed to on the Blogger network.

I'm a graphic designer, and I have a self-hosted WordPress blog. It helps my business a huge amount.

As for flashy, I think it's so much more important to have a site / blog that's easy to navigate, and easy to read, than flashy. Providing your site is well structured, your portfolio can add the design aspect. After all, that's what you're judged upon (although a poor site design certainly won't help).

All the best.

grafic7... said...

I'm really pleased to have got a comment from you david! About switching to a wordpress blog... I'm still weighing my options. I'm right now working on my portfolio. So, when it's ready I might migrate to a better place.

And Hakuna Matata! I still remember the vector art of your blog that was indeed very catchy stuff!

I'm really glad to have received such great suggestions from all you people. Keep commenting...It inspires me and others as well!