Don't Worry: We Have a Trillion Dollars Now
I'm a Mac. No, Really.

Hello, My Name Is Printeraction Designer

Hire Me

Do you create brands? Web sites? Freeform Flash experiences? Motion graphics? After you scrape off all those titles, deep down, you must be a designer. But wait -- you do development as well. That would make you a devigner. Or a designoper. Or a designuxinteractionphotographician.

Which begs the question: Does title really matter in the world of design today, once you've cut your teeth on a full-time job or three? Should we be measured based on our skills and portfolio, all rolled up into the ever-ballooning term "designer"?

I can't keep track of the various design flavors flying around today. They're getting specialized to the point that it really refines away the beauty of spanning and blending various disciplines.

While I may have a background in print design and ended up migrating into the wilds of interaction design, I definitely couldn't call myself a devigner, because I lack the patience to bug-test and browser-test code. (I'm also not very good at it.) The same goes for heavy AfterEffects... I'm not that guy either. So... Would that make me... a printeraction designer? A printeractive designer?

What do you call yourself? How do you convey to a client or your employer the breadth of what you do, all rolled up into the term "designer," when you're writing the copy, tweaking the ActionScript, making the coffee, returning the client phone calls, cutting the presentation boards to size, and stressing over whether the logo needs to be 5% bigger to activate your layout? That sounds like a designer... and a whole lot more.


Jake Boen, AIA

I used to have this problem and can see how this causes great angst. My field (architecture) is very specific and I still had this identity problem. Once I finished licensure to become a Registered Architect this all went away. I wish all the designers in the world luck with this.

p.s. love the blog.


I think it's pretty stupid. You're a designer, period. Flash, AfterEffects and other packages are merely tools to get things done with.

It would be like furniture or cabinet makers trying to distinguish themselves using different titles based on if they used power versus hand tools. You never hear of anyone saying "I'm a Festool cabinetmaker" or "I'm a Lie-Nielsen furniture maker"! Despite this I still hear from people wanting a job as a "Flash Designer" or "Print Designer".


As one who is delving into graduate study and looking at design for development, I think there is greater value on the "design thinking" that is now required in the field of design. We live in a different age and switching the mentality from aesthetics, externals and the like will be a welcomed change.
I'm trying to figure out what this should be called (since there is a gap between what I understand and what a client understands).

This site offers some good dialogues on what could be "next":

David Sherwin

Thanks for the great conversation here. I'm definitely going to continue this discussion in an upcoming post.

The comments to this entry are closed.