And what do you do?

My job title is something of an issue/mouthful. Web designer, graphic designer and illustrator. Depending on the context, I’ll generally respond to the question of what I do, as ‘I make websites’. In most situations it is just polite smalltalk and no-one could care less. But as a freelancer, you never know who might be a potential customer.

The Web designer title is a particularly confusing one, as it seems from my experience to imply I’m a developer. A techy. Someone who can help fix computers, set up email accounts, get broken printers to work. Oh no I can’t. I belong to the designer tribe, which buys a mac because a. it looks pretty, and b. I get it home, plug it in, and it pretty much works. How it does this, how much kilobytes of download upload processing capability, I neither care about, nor wish to waste valuable brain RAM understanding.

There is the title Digital designer. However along with Multi-media designer, it’s a bit yeuch. In Danish there is a job title of Webgrafiker. Web graphic designer, effectively. A nice term which explains the job function well.

Illustrator is also a job title I dislike. On being further pressed the conversation often develops to ‘aah you do cartoons!’ with a deeply patronising smile. Cartoonist is an awful job title. Cartoonist illustrator, nope, doesn’t work. Again in Danish, there is a lovely job title for this, Tegner. At tegne is the verb to draw. Tegner, someone who draws. Covers pretty much all fields of illustration, without the pretention implied in Illustrator or heaven forbid, Artist(e).

Graphic designer I have no problems with. Although others in similar fields to me use the term Art director. That to me implies a person who sits around all day in a design agency doing precious little, appearing for the last five minutes of a project to change everything and/or take all the credit/apportion blame.

Potential art director clients. I’m. Just. Kidding.