Design and the Servant Mentality


October 27, 2016 – By Edgar Ortiz


Here To Serve

In a rushed American culture that values individual success so highly, it’s easy to get caught up in our own world and our own problems. Rarely do we see neighbors going out of their way for each other, or a car ride without someone tailgating us at some point (or us tailgating someone else). Throughout my life I’ve succumbed to the selfish mindset. But, being a graphic designer, I can’t put myself first.

A graphic designer’s job is to come up with visual solutions for certain problems, usually other people’s problems. It may be creating a logo that makes a brand more recognizable, a website that’s easier for users to navigate, a poster that attracts a specific group of people, etc.

To improve as a designer, I’ve had to adopt a servant mentality; and it’s caused loads of benefits to my clients and myself.

Rather than seeing design primarily as a job or a way to make money, I’ve told myself to see it as the opportunity to help others reach their goals. It’s my chance to create more business for a little shop that’s been dreaming of something more for years; It’s my chance to help a small time band get more interest.

Seeing myself as a servant, rather than a self-proclaimed creative genius, has improved the quality of work I produce. By putting my client’s problem at the forefront, and entirely ignoring my own for that moment, I find more effective solutions quicker. Client revisions become less frequent, payments are discussed with less tension and reluctance, and good word of mouth leads to more work.

The servant mentality has improved my relationships with people in other areas of my life as well. I’m more willing to help family, friends and even strangers when they need it. I provide better customer service at my part-time job. At school, I enjoy helping my peers when they have a question. Slowly, this mentality becomes a part of who I am.

Instead of designing with my portfolio as my priority, Ive focused on designing real solutions for real problems. By doing this, we can see the true potential and purpose of design.

We are here to serve.