How graphic designers present themselves in their professional websites? I collected the ‘About' section of the first 500 results for “graphic design”. The images reveal the professional canon: who is visible (age, gender. etc.), what are the attitudes you expect from a designer, what values constitute a commercial advantage and what credibility means in the industry.
The About section of a design studio is usually a statement that tries to gain credibility for potential clients and set a reputation within the creative sector. The texts tend to be generic manifestos with good intentions, with short extension and a basic writing style. More an attempt to do the job avoiding errors than a place to have fun and express your view. Maybe because for many designers writing may not be the most natural medium to express themselves. But the portraits that present the team are more specific, diverse, and interesting.
The video collects the About images from the first studios listed in search results, awards and design media (see details below). The video groups similar images under titles that propose an interpretation of the message photographs are trying to convey: the professional, the studio designer, the founders, a vision and the team. The selection of language search, awards and media was based in Barcelona, but the design culture underlying the images may be akin to many other european cities.
About the About page
Most texts in the About section have a personal tone, not business-oriented. They refer to designers’ motivations more than economical o social impact. There is a lack of shared definitions, graphic design can appear as a general category or a print-oriented design, as opposed to web design, for example. Studios with more technical profile don’t have an About page. The longest About pages may explain the long history of the studio, show off the awards and media exposure, o reflect upon the studio or the profession. The English language search included more results of software companies than in Catalan or Spanish.About the search process
Search results don’t match the reputation of a studio, many unknown studios showed up in the results, some with poorly designed sites. It helped me to remember that there are many studios that live in a parallel univers to mine, with other success indicators, doing other types of work, for other types of clients, with a different Instagram feed.
This project is part of an ongoing research for my PhD, there is more material to be published in the future.