Por Clara Bort e Sara del Castillo
“Hello, I’m Miguel Seisdedos and I’m graphic designer… or at least I try” Is difficult to define yourself when you are only twenty years old, and moreover in the professional world, but he is quite clear about it. After completing his high school years projected to study an Industrial Design Engineering, Miguel decided to change course, pursue his dream and study Graphic Design. “And I think it was a good idea” he says with a smile.
Besides let him learn how to do what he likes, the design school where Miguel studies has opened the doors of employment for him. This young student from Valladolid (a small city in the northwest of Spain) has been employed as a designer in a communication agency thanks to the job opportunities offered by his school. The trainee contract of Miguel is not enough for him to make a living, but with a salary of 200 € per month, he earns more than many trainees and he can pay his own expenses.
A contract like this would be harder to reach studying in a public university. Miguel attends a private school, in his opinion, much better prepared to offer work to the students. “If you don’t have money to pay a private school you don’t have the same opportunities to get out into the labour market. It’s a pity and it’s not fair, but that’s it” For this young designer, the solution involves “headhunters” to capture good students in public and private schools and promote them. “The problem is that this figure doesn’t exist” regrets this student.
In his school, Miguel has learned to develop his own capacities as a designer, thanks to a teaching method based on creativity and practice. “They show you the tool, but is up to you to learn it” explains the designer. The daily work is essential in this kind of studies: most of the learning is based on the practice and the consistent effort. “Is not enough to know some key concepts or the theory only, you have to go beyond that”, he insists.
The critical attitude, according to what Miguel thinks, is essential to study something like Graphic Design. “Would someone like to purchase your work? Are you doing something which is really good? That’s the firsts questions you have to asked to yourself” he explains. ”For example, I like singing and I sing, but I am not good at it, so I would never consider to work in an opera.” This student believes that critical attitude should be over anything, but specially in this area, as it is a visual work.
Another crucial point for any graphic designer is, according his opinion, promote the use of social networks: each piece of work is created to be shown and these are the best tools to do it. “Although social networks occasionally cheat” defends the student. “Once I had a few ‘likes’ in my Instagram account in a work that was qualified as outstanding by my teachers” he says laughing. “Like that is how you realize that the public of the street will be the most demanding and strict with what you do.”
Miguel also stresses the importance of the continue learning “Keeping up on courses, lectures… all knowledge is not enough in this world, because it’s wide and quite difficult,” He believes that the world of Graphic Design is so complicated because there are no limits or an established concept. “If you go to an agency and you ask the boss what graphic design is, he won’t give you the same answer that another boss of another agency. For each one has a particular meaning. ”
He is clear about it and defines the Graphic Design as visual communication focused in selling a product or a service, as a process that begins and ends with a commercial purpose. It is a tool linked with marketing and sales, as Miguel says. “Maybe 97% of this discipline is related to the Advertising or Marketing for many people” nevertheless, “There is a great background behind it that we can’t forget.”
At his twenty years old, Miguel is “tired” to be called artist. He stresses in the necessity of differentiate between to produce art and to produce graphic design. “An artist wants to communicate a feeling, something that evokes him and is transmitted through a canvas, for example” while a graphic designer “Not only communicates a feeling, but also a value of a brand, something related to the commercial world. ”
In the field of Graphic Design everything has a why, an explanation, anything is casual: the objective is not admiring, but thinking about each item and its meaning. “When you get an assignment from a brand you have to stick to what they charge you, at a certain image that they want to transmit with your work.” The mission of Miguel, as any designer, is to make tangible the values and the goal of a brand, so that the good performance of his work will be key of the success of all the process.
The relationship between product and design is a very controversial topic in the world of design: Must the creator be at 100% at the service of the product? Or that would inhibit his or her freedom? “More than at the service of product, the design have to be at the service of the society,” explains Miguel. The design must be in line with the object that is being sold, but to be effective is not enough with this “You should provoke a reaction in the users, if you doesn’t, the objective is not reached.”
The main ingredient in the recipe of success is the effort, however you have to be good at what you do and, as the topic says “be in the right time at the right places”. Without these factors, Miguel wouldn’t be working now for one of the most important communication agencies in his city.
Miguel Seisdedos imagines his future as all (or almost all) the students at his age: working in what he is passionate about, and make a living of it. There is a long way to go, but three years ago he was resolving mathematical problems and drawing was his way out, his time of rest at the end of the day. Now, drawing is present: he studies design and he works on design. Hopefully, drawing and design are his future too.