Today we take a look at the theory of artistic distance and how this applies to the modern day graphic designer. Graphic designers are often given a rough guideline by clients and are left to translate this concept into colours, graphics, typography and print. This is not an easy task.
A professional graphic designer is much like an artist and can quickly become emotionally attached to a design. If this does occur, conflict can rise between the client and the graphic designer. So, how does a professional designer learn to accept client briefs and separate their particular vision from the project? The technique graphic designer’s use is known as “artistic distance.”
Understanding Artistic Distance in Graphic Design
The theory of artistic distance was first proposed by Aristotle in Poetics. This concept involves the process of the artist cognitively taking a step back and viewing their creation from an objective perspective. The graphic designer needs to change their thinking and to shift their behaviour. By looking at the artwork objectively they are able to disconnect from it emotionally and put the client’s requirements first.
As a graphic designer that works in the commercial space, this is a useful technique. It allows a designer to become their very own critic. And this enables them to make changes that they think the client will request before the client has a chance to request them. This in turn, leads to fewer amendments and promotes a great relationship between the client and artist.
On the flip side, sometimes the client needs to learn about artistic distance. For example: If a client presents a designer with a rough idea that will not work in theory, the designer will have to mention this. However, since the client created this idea they will be emotionally attached to it. This can escalate and cause conflict between the two parties as the designer may feel that they are not giving the client the best possible result, while the client feels unheard and dismissed.
Working in partnership to achieve the perfect graphic design is essential to graphic design projects. The ability to distance yourself from the artwork is vital. All professional graphic designers understand that they are not creating for themselves. They are designing for the consumer and the client. And this needs to be kept in mind at all times.
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