who are we anyway?

One of the defining characteristics of modern8, and how we differentiate our business from that of our competitors is our inclusion of strategic, as well as creative services to achieve a shared goal. In this monthly column I often provide insights into brand strategy. And yet most of the staff at modern8, myself included, are graphic designers by training—artists, if you will.

Recently the current graphic design profession has had its own identity crisis. The AIGA has dropped the meaning behind its initials. Founded in 1914 as the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the organization is now simply four letters and the phrase, “the professional association for design.” The shift recognizes that for many members in the organization, calling oneself a graphic designer may be too limiting.

When I was in high school the profession was called commercial art, a term rarely heard today. And yet the art we produce is not art for art’s sake. Our art is the means to an end, and that end is commercial in nature. Art is the vehicle that makes our creative deliverables more distinctive and more memorable. Art carries the message in such a way that it becomes more effective in influencing its audience.

Smart designers today are creating solutions to communication problems that incorporate both science and art. Left and right brain. Strategy and design. But art is where the true magic lies. That’s what you’ll remember. That’s where the emotional connection is made. However in today’s over-communicated society, art alone is not enough.