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Emphasise a purpose

Posted December 2014

People always ask me what I do. This is a twofold problem really. I mean, what do I actually do, and what do I call what I do? My job title is Art Director, but really that’s quite a small part of what I do. It’s a catch-all, something to cover the ‘work stuff’. So usually I just blurt that out. Then of course people generally don’t know what the hell that is, especially as I don’t work in editorial or ‘proper’ advertising.

If we’re talking about titles, then really I’m a designer. I work as part of a team that uses the processes and techniques of design to help people and organisations understand their particular, often unique situation. Then we help to plan a way forward, and act on it. It’s pretty broad. However, if introduce myself as a designer, then I’ll get asked what kind of design I do, you know, graphic design, product design etc. And really I’m kind-of discipline-agnostic. Which gets reeeeally confusing.

So, instead of describing what I do as a function, I’m going to attempt to describe it as a purpose. Which is a nice way to roll in some of the stuff I’m working on outside of ‘work’ as well. So at the moment I guess I could say I’m trying to explore ways in which designers can use physical or visual prototypes within research and workshops, and how these can help form a strategic backbone. Although I’m not, really. But I’d like to be. I guess what I am really working on is trying to balance being a dad, a designer and a husband, and keeping my family afloat on a single income.

This text was originally posted as part of this article on Medium.