Jeff Smith

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Simple designs are too often mistaken for being overly simplistic, inevitably prompting clients to ask the most common question: "Why am I paying that much for this?!" Therefore, I've compiled some explanations to shed some light on this matter. Please read below; it's short and it's worth it, I promise. Thank you.



the Surface...


Design, often perceived as the final product - a sleek logo, an eye-catching advertisement, or an aesthetically pleasing website - is, in reality, an intricate tapestry woven from various unseen threads. Beyond the visible surface lies a realm of meticulous research, psychological insight, and an  iterative process of trial and error, all working harmoniously to craft impactful visual experiences. Yet, these nuances often remain hidden, overshadowed by the glamour of the end result. Let's delve deeper into the unseen facets of design, shedding light on the complexities that shape its essence.


The Foundation

of Innovation


At the core of every successful design lies extensive research, a process akin to mining for precious gems. Designers delve into the depths of market trends, consumer behavior, and brand identity, seeking valuable insights to inform their creative endeavors. This phase involves poring over data, conducting competitor analysis, and deciphering the intricacies of target demographics. By understanding the landscape in which their creations will reside, designers lay a sturdy foundation for innovation, ensuring that every visual element serves a purpose beyond mere aesthetics.


Crafting Emotional



Design has the power to evoke emotions, spark memories, and forge lasting connections with its audience. Behind every color palette, typography choice, and layout lies a profound understanding of human psychology. Designers leverage principles of color theory, typography psychology, and Gestalt principles to create compositions that resonate deeply with viewers. From instilling trust and credibility through strategic branding elements to eliciting joy and nostalgia through intuitive user interfaces, design harnesses the subtleties of human perception to craft meaningful experiences.





Contrary to popular belief, design is not a linear path from concept to completion but rather a journey of iterative refinement. Countless hours are spent exploring various concepts, experimenting with different approaches, and embracing failure as a stepping stone towards success. Through a process of trial and error, designers fine-tune every detail, continuously seeking perfection while embracing the beauty of imperfection. Each iteration brings valuable insights, guiding the evolution of the design towards its ultimate manifestation. 



the Invisible


While the end result of design may dazzle the senses, it is the unseen elements that truly breathe life into the creative process. Behind every pixel-perfect image and pixel-perfect text lies a wealth of research, psychology, and relentless iteration. As consumers, it is imperative to recognize and appreciate the invisible forces that shape the visual landscape around us. By peering beyond the surface, we gain a newfound appreciation for the craftsmanship, dedication, and ingenuity that define the world of design.

That's it

in a nutshell. 

Conclusion :


Nowadays, designers must constantly update their skills, staying current with new design trends, software features, and emerging programs and apps that seem to appear like mushrooms after the rain. This requires countless hours of learning, in addition to their paid work, in a field where time is limited to the same 24 hours as everyone else.

This is why a designer can produce great designs quickly—not because being a designer is an easy job. Too often, clients misunderstand this and think that anyone can do it in 5 minutes; they just lack the time to do it.

In job postings, employers often expect designers to master an overwhelming array of programs and skills that actually encompass several different jobs, all under the title of "Graphic Designer." This includes roles like "Copywriter," "Content Writer," "Social Media Specialist," "Marketing Advisor," "Video Editor," "Video Designer," "Photographer," "Web Designer," "Web Developer," and more. Some of us have a bit of knowledge in these areas, but this should be considered a bonus, not the norm. We are not superhumans.

Frequently, companies expect a Junior Designer to have extensive knowledge of all Adobe software (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Bridge, Lightroom, After Effects, Premiere, XD, Dreamweaver, Dimension, to name just a few), not realizing that this level of expertise requires many years of regular use. Expecting this from a junior designer is unrealistic; such a person would undoubtedly be a highly skilled senior.

Moreover, people don’t realize that combining all these roles would require a salary 10 times larger (I am not kidding) than what they are willing to pay, which is often barely the income of an Intermediate Graphic Designer. To put it simply, it’s like hiring a plumber for plumbing, babysitting, housework, painting, chauffeuring (with his own limousine), and cooking, but only paying him the plumber’s salary.

Contributing to this issue are "cheap logo or design" websites, which exploit clients' lack of knowledge about what good design entails and how bad design can negatively impact their business. I know businesses that used these services, were initially happy with the logo, but ended up rebranding six months later because something just didn’t work with the "cheap" one. The reason is that very few truly talented designers with proper education in design work on these sites. Now, imagine this situation: would you hire a dodgy electrician to design the power network for your newly built house? I guess not.

I’ve encountered this far too many times during my career. Therefore, I’ve decided to make this page, in an attempt to help people understand and be more reasonable toward designers. Most of the time when you buy something, a big part of your decision is influenced by how the product looks or the advertising behind it. And a big part of these is due to a designer’s efforts and creativity (and all those countless hours I mentioned earlier). Think about this for a moment.

Thank you for investing your time to read this.

Now that you have

better understanding

about the design process,

let's conclude it in a

more relaxed way:

The following videos best express the typical way clients perceive the work of a designer. *Please note that the second video contains language that may be offensive to some people. Enjoy :)

Choosing a skilled designer is paramount to avoid becoming one of the unfortunate cases of "design failures." A good designer possesses the expertise to understand your vision, translate it into effective visual communication, and avoid common pitfalls that lead to ineffective design - as per examples below:

Thank you.

♪  Two Souls |  Malte Marten  +  ChangeofColours♪  Two Souls |  Malte Marten  +  ChangeofColours♪  Two Souls |  Malte Marten  +  ChangeofColours♪  Two Souls |  Malte Marten  +  ChangeofColours♪  Two Souls |  Malte Marten  +  ChangeofColours♪  Two Souls |  Malte Marten  +  ChangeofColours♪  Two Souls |  Malte Marten  +  ChangeofColours♪  Two Souls |  Malte Marten  +  ChangeofColours♪  Two Souls |  Malte Marten  +  ChangeofColours♪  Two Souls |  Malte Marten  +  ChangeofColours♪  Two Souls |  Malte Marten  +  ChangeofColours♪  Two Souls |  Malte Marten  +  ChangeofColours♪  Two Souls |  Malte Marten  +  ChangeofColours♪  Two Souls |  Malte Marten  +  ChangeofColours♪  Two Souls |  Malte Marten  +  ChangeofColours♪  Two Souls |  Malte Marten  +  ChangeofColours

Senior Designer

University of Auckland 2022-now

Senior Designer

Auckland Transport 2014-22

Founding partner + Design

WebCreativeStore AKL 2013-15

Senior Designer

TheBrandFactory AKL 2007-12

Art Director

Heep Media BU 2007

Senior Designer

Skepsis 2006


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Experiments page is a compilation of personal and freelance work.

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"NOTEBOOK" is primarily a personal blog where Calin expresses himself and shares his thoughts with readers.

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◖ ◖ ◖   CALIN ALEXANDER - 2024

Crafted with ♥ in New Zealand. Made with Semplice. 

Copyright 2024 Calin Alexander.

◖ ◖ ◖   CALIN ALEXANDER - 2024

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