Bobby scoffs at Comic Sans and clipart. Bobby looks on the bulletin boards and analyzes the flyers. Bobby criticizes the kerning on the dry cleaning tickets. Bobby says (s)he could have made a better logo. Bobby defends his/her designs to the death even if another approach hasn’t been tried. Bobby gets offended and even takes it personally when peers give him/her constructive criticism.
Blair understands that not everyone has received the education (s)he has. Blair appreciates the use of Futura on the menu. Blair likes using Helvetica sometimes but finds a lot of beauty in a chunky serif. Blair tries a lot of different ideas out before settling on the best. Blair gives honest and constructive advice to peers and thoughtfully heeds to the advice given to her/him.
Maybe you’re like Bobby. Maybe you’re like Blair. Perhaps you’re a little of both or neither at all. Any which way, many designers struggle with ego and honesty. Respectful honesty is an important part of being a designer. It can take a lot of courage. We don’t want to offend anyone, we don’t want to criticize someone’s project that they’ve put their sweat and tears into, and we don’t want people to think we’re jerks. But I’d much rather hear someone’s honest opinion during critique than a meaningless comment about how it looks nice. It’s also important to remember, as several of you mentioned in your comments last week, that many people don’t have the knowledge and training we do. So don’t let your ego get so big that you can’t distinguish the proper time and place for critique. Try your best to be fair, and if you must be snobby, be snobby with your best friend, not your colleague.