What is the difference between designers?

Hi, I hope you are well
What abilities do you think make designers successful?
When there are so many professional designers around the world?

  1. It depends on what you consider success.
  2. There really aren’t that many professional designers around the world.

A successful designer learns to ask the right questions.
A little more clarity about what you are asking would be helpful. The questions are so broad that it’s almost not worth answering.

Is success how much you make? How well known you are to professionals or strangers? How recognized your designs are? The global impact of your work? Whether or not you are happy or proud of your work?

Some famous and rich designers make throw away consumable products that act more as landfill than unknown designers who might work on life saving medical equipment.

I have been thinking about this lately. My .02. I have determined I don’t care how society defines success and the only thing that matters is how I define success. Next, I don’t think quantifying “value” of designers is possible. Does that “landfill” bring value to the end user? I think yes. Granted, that value is a bit higher up on Maslow’s pyramid, but I don’t understand why that would be of any less value to than the lower levels. So if it measures glucose levels or brings joy, I don’t understand why quantifying the value matters.

As for a trait for a good (I’ll use that instead of successful) designer, I’ll stay away from the stupidity of things like Gallup strengths (my top 5 are adaptability, strategic, learner, self-assurance, responsibility). I think most important is being able to determine the problem that needs solving. Solutions cannot be innovative if the problem they are solving are not a problem.

thank you all
You said things I did not pay attention to

Thats right

On a spectrum:

Over time:


Feeling trollish this morning?

Ah yes… the famously logical Engineer & Scientist Elon Musk.

Where did you find these? :laughing:

Well, Musk can talk the talk on full flow staged combustion cycles so I thought he’d be useful reference.

With a bit too much time on my hands I thought I’d take a shot at a response to the OP. The first, a snapshot based on attributes, and where designers might lie on a biz continuum, the second a longitudinal pov that illustrates (roughly) what a designers career trajectory might look like.

There’s probably a mapping in a Venn diagram too…

When I took the Buzzfeed quiz “Which Famous Designer are You Based on Your Favorite Animated Feature Films?- #4 Will SHOCK You”, I was more of a Jim McLamore… you know, simple but effective design with a big vision. I also had some of the calculated but empathetic design qualities of Alfred Porter Southwick.

I think we should bring this continuum into schools where aspiring designers can choose whether they want to be more like a real-life goose-steppin’ war criminal… or a scam artist who purchased rocket scientist & designer credentials with inherited wealth and government grants. Or maybe Karim Rashid- another very cool guy doing great things for both art and design.


Calm down. The idea is that there might be a continuum. It’s just a straw-man based on individual attributes, and prevailing economic imperatives. Sure, we could replace a few on grounds of ideological purity, but that wasn’t the point.

(checks into Buzzfeed now…)

like Damian Hurst, but I like that fact that this does show how very broad a spectrum designers cover - it’s just not this broad.

Yes, the OP’s question would have very different answers depending on who you talk to. the design staff working for Dean Kamen have a ton of engineering skills and just the opposite end for say, Kareem’s designers.

Whoa, does this thread resurface annually during this time?

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I think what makes a good designer is one’s desire to look around and soak everything in, find inspiration in what surrounds us, have awareness of the world around you. Good ideas and creativity don’t come out of a vacuum.

Yah, I don’t understand this thread.

I do think that is a nice description though, SOS.


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LOL :rofl: