No I’m not.
I could read a few books on law, go sit in on a court session, and have some business cards printed up. I could call myself a lawyer and maybe even fool you. You might even hire me to handle your divorce for you.
But that would be CRAZY, right? You want your divorce lawyer to know law, to be up with trends and the issues of the day. Same with your dentist, doctor, plumber, realtor, bartender, or even your chef.
So why do we stand for a bunch of folks who run around calling themselves graphic designers, who were never educated in the field?
A computer and software knowledge does not a designer make. Listen, I got my BFA in graphic design and photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I won a merit scholarship my first year there.
I went on to acquire an MA in professional media practices from the School of Journalism at SIUC. My final paper was on how graphic design has evolved to encompass both the print and digital world, and how designers can best present their client’s info on both platforms.
So I’ve got the education. I can proudly proclaim to the world that I am a professional graphic designer. But that’s not all! I have YEARS of experience designing, teaching, practicing, critiquing, learning from my employers, mentors, and yes, even my clients.
What brought this on, you ask?
I’m looking around and seeing a lot of self-proclaimed designers tout their wares as being the CHEAPEST. I’m gonna save that rant for another day. For now, let’s just all ask ourselves what we want in a creative director or graphic designer. Isn’t your company, service, or political platform worth presenting as well as possible? And don’t you want the person doing that to be the most highly educated, ethical professional available?