Graphic Design. Objective or Subjective?

Graphic Design

Graphic Design. Objective or Subjective?

It’s both!

Objectivity is largely found in the Brand DNA and Brand Strategy which creates a framework and direction. This is followed by the Corporate Identity which governs design and the brand’s tone of voice.

Sherpa Graphic Designer Marilize Prinsloo says that even though a brand framework generally exists, the creative process naturally becomes subjective. This means that there will be a number of creative routes to achieve the same brand objectives, either by one or more graphic designer.

It’s subjective. 

“The reality is that when a personality is immersed into a creative assignment, the graphic designer’s traits, preferences, feelings, terms of reference and experiences naturally find their way into the creative process”.

Becoming objective but … 

Objectivity returns to the table when you measure the various creative solutions presented against the Brand DNA and Brand Strategy. Even here subjectivity creeps into the reckoning because you have diverse personalities assessing the graphic design options presented. You can have a show of hands (that’s ridiculous but it happens!) or have the person closest to the brand – the CEO, Marketing Director or Brand Manager – making the call.

Subjectivity within an objective bubble.  

Sherpa’s early logo and corporate identity was insipid. No, please don’t ask. We then briefed a young, hugely talented Sherpa designer to create a new logo. We wanted something that reflected our STAND OUT. BE FOUND promise in our strapline. Something that also represented how we saw our clients. CEO’s. Entrepreneurs. Brand Managers. Marketing Managers.  Bold. Brave. Confident. No side-shows, focused. Never afraid to stick their necks out. We think that our logo works.

And so after a couple of days, the graphic designer emerged with a sharp, bold and but solid and uncomplicated font, with strong secondary colours and imagery that told our story.   He could have chosen a number of creative directions to achieve the same objectives, but there were key words in the brief which directed him.

Just when you thought you’d cracked it! 

Even then, subjectivity could have reigned if Sherpa’s CEO was a different personality. He totally avoided the “ … add a bit of this … tweak that … what about some …”

He was not going to inject his personal likes into something that belonged to his clients – the brand.

In this instance, the CEO and graphic designer closed their minds to outside or personal influencers and only focused on their brand promise and what wanted to mean to certain audiences.

Objective or Subjective? It’s a bit like ebb and flow.

Marilize Prinsloo is a Graphic Designer at Sherpa Brand & Design who covers all areas of graphic design but has a special skill in social media design. “How do we evoke the emotion that we want … within mere seconds?” She joined Sherpa a week or so before the COVID lockdown but as a self-starter and having managed a busy graphic design studio up north, she quickly made her presence felt in our remote environment.

Sherpa Brand & Design Agency
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