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A hat-trick of awards to finish 2023! Onwards and upwards for 2024

Opinion: Specialist Design

I love a bit of industry news and opinion, and in this weeks Design Week I was particularly grabbed by an interesting article. Sector specialisms: are the risks worth the rewards?

My instant thought was yes, as this is advice that I would give to my clients without blinking – to focus on their USP and what they love to do, and the rest will follow. However, talking to myself now, I can understand that this may be a difficult decision to make. 

Having originally qualified (with a first class honours no less – cue trumpet blowing) in Consumer Product Design, my specialisms were in product and fashion. However, as my career and business has evolved, the skill of being able to sit myself in a consumer, client or colleagues shoes and to be able to look at any design project from all perspectives (as we are taught to do in product design) has far reaching advantages for all aspects of design. I have also found that the great richness and complete and utter diversity of my clients; from a pioneering engineering firm, to a self-employed celebrant; keeps me vibrant and excited about what I do.

Could this excitement be distilled into one category? Would I get the same joy from designing a website for an internationally established drinks brand, while also working on a care home brand? Monday, designing pumpkin picking illustrations, and Tuesday, a brochure on decking? I’m not sure.

How narrow to our specialisms need to lie to be effective? Is graphic design too broad a stroke?

We all know the great adage of Jack of all trades, Master of none, but within a trade there are so many facets, where do the boundaries lie? Matt Wheeler of Madeby.studio claims “if you’re speaking to everyone, you’re speaking to no one,” which is certainly true when it comes to brand design. You focus on your ideal client base, and be inoffensive to the rest and you’re on to a winner.

Would you prefer a ‘generalist’ or ‘specialist’ design studio to handle your project? There’s no denying a specialism makes you stand out.

This has genuinely made me think.

Perhaps I need to talk to myself a little more often…

For the moment, however, for any and all graphic design, we’re here for you. Contact us at Jili Allen Creative before we close the open door and pop a bouncer on there with a list.

Read the full article here: Sector specialisms: are the risks worth the rewards?