One Word that Describes what I do Every Day.

Have you ever tried to describe what you do in your life, in one word?

After working 23 years in the Graphic Design field, I’ve decided that my design life can be described in this one word:


When I was in high school, I always liked to draw, move things around so that people thought they looked “cool” and I loved coming up with cool “ideas”.

I went to a great college where they honed my skills and gave me some ideas for being better and doing thing more effectively. It was before computers assisted us, but for the most part, little has changed now, except it’s easier to control the many details that are part of our design careers.

  • Organization is a complex word now that I think of it. It means so many different things — especially as it relates to great design. Here are 3 concepts of how I organize or encourage our team to:
  • Lining things up or grouping. I’m amazed at how easy this seems to come to good designers, and how difficult it is for a lot of people. Every design job has details and components. Sometimes they come from us, sometimes from the client. But all those “things” have to be organized in such a way to make them effective, remembered and “designed”. Most feel that it’s good to fill the space, but a great designer sees the white space as a benefit. Groupings are always better. Hierarchy of importance is also critical. We call it the 1, 2, 3 of the design.
  • Consistency. Ah, my favorite word. Organization is about creativity within the bounds of consistency. A great design has a style sheet (fonts and visual elements) — and a great designer knows this style consistency factor so much that it can be broken for the benefit of the design. Rarely.
  • Seeing the forest AND the trees. When God (the greatest Creative Director!) looks at us, the Bible says He knows the number of hairs on our head. Yet for some, He allows the hairs to be clumped together so that they make a great hairstyle. Which is more important to the design? The individual hair? Or the grouping. Just have one hair not “organized” in the right way and it’ll drive most crazy! Or have it turn gray or fall out. Each and all are important. Know your details and how the overall message is perceived!

I guess, when I look back over my career, I still want to organize better. It’s a never-grasped skill that will make my life interesting until my wife installs the tombstone over my burial place.

Mark MacDonald
Consistently, He Organized Every Detail.


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