The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

January 20, 2005


Working on a new design for my employer's website. It's one of those days when I wish I had at least some basic training as a graphic designer. I mean I can do decent HTML stuff and everything, but a good graphic design is a totally different thing, especially as I'm highly critical of my own and other people's work and won't easily accept anything as "good". Apart from technicalities, like, I accidentally turned off the colour channels in Photoshop today, and it took me 15 minutes to figure out how to turn them on again. I feel like such a dilettante (btw, is that an English word? I know vigilante is, but that's not what I want to say).

Anyway, here I am with a vague idea in my head that I'm struggling to turn into a graphic design, and I have to get it ready by next Thursday, when a couple of drafts will be discussed by the editorial board. Problem is, I usually get my best ideas about a week after my first draft, once my brain has been able to quietly continue working on the design while I'm doing other things. I hope it takes only six rather than seven days this time.

Posted by Horst on January 20, 2005 11:57 PM to the body electric | Tell-a-friend

dieter said on January 21, 2005 12:32 PM:

Leo says dilettante is English.

Pity you are saying this now. I know a very decent web designer who is unfortunately leaving Austria for the next six months. When I think of it, there is another one, but he is sure to ask money for his services.

Horst said on January 21, 2005 11:10 PM:

I don't need a web designer. I need a graphic designer. That's a significant difference.

baronesse said on January 22, 2005 11:27 AM:

What exactly is the difference between web and graphic designer? I like to see myself as both.
Unfortunately I cannot afford to work for free at the moment. But if you need photoshop support (like how to turn on the color channels), call me!

Armin said on January 22, 2005 09:12 PM:

Try this: dilettante.

I like this definition: "an amateur who engages in an activity without serious intentions and who pretends to have knowledge" ;-)

Horst said on January 23, 2005 11:51 PM:

Graphic design involves creating, well, graphics. Web design involves things such as information architecture, usability, user interface. Of course somebody can be both at the same time, but many websites done by graphic designers look pretty, but are unusable. I'd need the expertise to make my things prettier.

Maybe I should turn into a vigilante after all. More fun than being a dilettante anyway.

baronesse said on January 24, 2005 12:49 AM:

Ok, well, yes... that's the main thing about being a designer: making things both pretty AND usable, isn't it? Think of furniture, clothing, kitchen machinery, etc.
Only artists have the freedom to make stuff that cannot be "used".

You completely lost me on the "vigilante" thing, though. My dictionary says it means "Mitglied" or "Ordnungshüter"?

Horst said on January 24, 2005 09:52 AM:

Vigilante - "One who takes or advocates the taking of law enforcement into one's own hands."

One of my favourite Dilbert cartoons involves Dilbert and Dogbert becoming vigilantes, which is, of course, slightly absurd, but I was thinking along these lines.

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