The Role of the Designer


Course textbook

I mentioned in an earlier post about the repetition in my course and it doesn’t just apply to the subjects covered in the theory, it also happens with the readings we are supposed to do from the textbook.

The textbook for this course is “Graphic Design: Australian Style Manual” and I just went to pages 14-20 to do the reading for this section of study, and I’ve already read it – I’ve already highlighted the bits and pieces I thought were important. This is kind of frustrating, getting ready to get into reading and I’ve already done it.

Anyway, I thought this might be a good a time as any to make share some notes from this section of the textbook which is all about the role of the designer…

  • “The role of the designer is to work within a design process to fully understand the scope of the client’s communication problem and to clearly identify the target audience they’re speaking to. This means understanding the audience’s age, gender, media preferences, culture, lifestyle habits and ethnicity.” (Barnum et al, p14)
  • “… it is important to recognise the distinction between art and design. The clear difference between the process of design and the making of art lies in the objective.” (Barnum et al, p15)
  • “Designers are not artists in the pure discipline sense. Designers might simultaneously engage in both art and design practices, but designing involves both the analysis and the validation of ideas…” (Barnum et al, p15)
  • Graphic designers are after “…a communication solution that contains aesthetic harmony, inspirational graphic techniques and a voice that’s appropriate to the objective within the brief – something looks good, sounds good and generates the right reaction.” (Barnum et al, p15)
  • “The mission of the designer (is) to identify and isolate the most fundamental objectives that (the client is) trying to communicate.” (Barnum et al, p19)
  • “…(the) first step on the path to understanding what makes a successful designer: fully understanding and digesting what the brief requires… reducing all the data provided to the most potent points.” (Barnum et al, p19)



Barnum, A., Haddock, S., Hicks, S. and Oppen, F. (2012) Graphic Design: Australian Style Guide. Sydney: McGraw-Hill Publishers Australia


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