It’s amazing how your perspective can change.
When I was in school, I thought what made a good design was merely one thing: a good designer. Now I realize the truth is much larger than that. Projects are a collaboration between all those involved, and cannot succeed without everyone doing their part, or one person being the Incredible Hulk and doing everyone’s part (or at least scaring them off with the green and the gamma rays and all). Sure, a great designer can make the best of a bad situation and turn it into a great result, but even that isn’t a skill of a “talented designer”, it’s the skill of a talented Designer (capital D).
What’s the difference between a designer and a Designer? You earn a capital “D” when you can see the bigger picture and work within it. When you learn not just how to create something that you were taught in school, but to work in the professional role of a Designer. Create something that’s not just interesting-looking or functional, but that works for the client and meets the project’s goals. Can design the amazing within scope and budget. Tracks their time and keeps other members of the team in mind. Fills in the gaps when others come up short. Can sell the client on good ideas. Only suggests things that they can make happen. AND, can balance all of these things with other projects. Sounds boring, but it’s not. It’s what makes you successful.
Sure, it helps to be a good designer to be a good Designer, but it’s time to start looking at the bigger picture.
Oh, and don’t use Papyrus or Impact. Ever.