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Ignorance for Graphic Designers – Blessing or a Curse?

Ignorance is a dilemma that many newbie graphic designers face in the starting of their careers. Their lack of knowledge about a particular aspect of design is often taken negatively. While there is no arguing the fact that one should be well equipped and educated in order to excel in life, ignorance should not be considered a folly.
“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”
Benjamin Franklin
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In most cases, graphic designers feel shy of admitting their ignorance on a particular subject. When a client comes up with a highly complex business nature, graphic designers pretend to know all just to avoid looking stupid. On the other hand, ignorance can also prove beneficial sometimes. There is a well-known saying that “A learned fool is more a fool than an ignorant fool.”

Today, I shall discuss both aspects of ignorance for graphic designers and its impact on our professional careers.

‘Ignorance’ as a Curse:

• Inquisitive Mind

Thomas Gray wrote in one his poems Ignorance is bliss”. An ignorant designer will have an inquisitive mind…one who seeks to inquire about everything. Just like an ignorant child, he is curious to find out about everything that comes in his path. Similarly, an ignorant designer will have the courage to ask questions in order to completely understand things. Many a times, graphic designers pretend to be a ‘know-it-all’ and don’t ask for further clarifications from clients.

• Desire for Self-Learning

Being ignorant saves you from being overly complacent on your limited knowledge. If a designer doesn’t fully understand his client’s complex business nature, it’s better to admit it and learn about it.  If you pretend to know something that you are not capable of, it will lead to regret in the end. Not knowing something gives you the liberty and desire to learn about it in detail.

• Shows Your Honesty

Last but not least, being candidly ignorant of something gives the client an impression that you are an honest person to deal with. One of the stepping stones of client-designer relationship is trust. Being frank with your client on what you are not accurately familiar will help you establish a sincere relationship with them.

‘Ignorance’ as a Blessing:

• Takes Time in Comprehension:

A big drawback of ignorance is that the designer will take more time in understanding the design details accurately. When clients provide the design brief for the project, a designer with lack of knowledge or information will not completely comprehend what he is being asked for. For example, if clients’ business is related to a complicated industry that the designer has never heard of, it will take relatively more time to research and digest that particular industry mechanics.

• Will Look Stupid in front of Clients:

Most clients consider graphic designers to be a ‘know-it-all’ guys who visualize everything very creatively. They would come up with a confused mind and ask for things that make no sense at all. So, the designer who is unaware of what client is talking about, will end looking up a stupid in front of clients.

• More Chances of Mistakes:

Another drawback of ignorance is that graphic designers are prone to make mistakes in their endeavors. For instance, you are working in a creative agency and your boss asked you to make copies of a document using the office photocopier machine. Being a graphic designer, it is not your job to make Xerox copies and you are ignorant of how the process is done. But since you couldn’t tell that to your boss, you ended up making the wrong photocopies.

What’s your Verdict?

So what do you think guys…Can ignorance be considered as stupidity? Or is being unaware a bliss in disguise?


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