OpEd: Never Fear Critique When Designing

Let me start out by saying that no one is perfect and there is no one right or perfect designer. If there were, we would all hail that person as the messiah of design. Now, granted, we all have out ideal candidates for the high and mighty, end-all-be-all designer, but no one truly is. And especially us, we are not perfect nor do we make perfect designs every-time. And we must remember that. We must remember humility.

Every designer loves to critique other designs, other advertisements, clothing, music, etc. What we may not realize, all the time, is that all those designs, advertisements and clothing are designs and subsequently designed by someone, a designer. We are critiquing someone’s design. It’s not fair to¬† not expect it back in return. In fact, being critiqued or opening up dialog about your work will bring about new ideas, approaches and insights that you may not have thought of. Who knows, these insights might prove to be very important for the next stage of your design. Alternatively, it is important for the designer to share their designs with another designer for obvious defects and offer a chance for the designer to present and articulate their thoughts. A time to prove your work.

Remember, humility is key in design. No one is perfect. We can strive for the perfection, ultimately that perfection comes in part through the openness to others and critique. Think of it as a type of oversight.

Design is a rough profession. There are no lollipops or rainbows. There are crushed feelings, harsh words, dropped jobs and always someone better than you. In order to survive, you must be aware of this. A think skin is necessary. They aren’t critiquing you personally, they are critiquing your work. If you can’t separate that or disassociate yourself personally from critique, you should think of another game.

Somethings to keep in mind when working and critiquing:
1) Never take criticism personally.
2) Elitism should never be tolerated.
3) It’s not about your work, but the work period.
4) Oversight in design is necessary and should be encouraged.

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