Designers vs. Stylists

From an essay about the difference between designers and stylists:

… the practice of design necessarily involves solving problems. Further, these problems present constraints; whether these originate in the client’s budget, the target audience’s availability, or in the technical limitations of the medium is immaterial.

The important part of this idea is that the task of the designer is to present the client with a solution within an ambit circumscribed by factors beyond his or her control, factors that limit the ability to unrestrainedly impose personal taste. When a designer—a Paul Rand, a Saul Bass, a Neville Brody—can consistently succeed at this and still develop a recognizable personal style, well, that (by my lights, anyway) is where all the artistry resides.


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