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Diana Donaldson: Design Is Professional

Diane Donaldson headshot

Diana Donaldson

Founder and Brand Strategist
Rice Content Marketing and Design
Whitefish, Montana

Guild member since 2015

What traits do you think a professional in the graphic art industry must have and why?

Three traits that I see aiding in the success of today’s graphic artists are agility, careful listening, and unabated flow generation. The ability to adapt to change is critical. Technology changes rapidly, highly-collaborative projects lead to a constant evolution of ideas, and occasionally we are hit with global market shifts that we must adapt to.

What is ethics in graphic arts? Do you think ethical responsibilities fall on the shoulders of the artist, the client/company stakeholder or both? 

The ethics of graphic arts protects the creator, art buyer, stakeholders and their brands. Graphic artists must consider their actions in terms of creative development – adhering to copyright and trademark laws, assuring contracts adequately detail scope and expectations of all parties, and are responsible for educating our clients of fair practice guidelines. The Graphic Artists Guild has done an incredible job to provide creators with an abundance of resources. I recommend the Pricing and Ethical Guidelines Handbook to every graphic artist I meet.

I’ve also felt that ethics as a creator extends to considering the environmental, social, and financial impact of a proposal. It’s up to us to put forth options that meet the client’s needs. I believe it’s always possible to bring less-wasteful alternatives to the table!

Have you ever used your work as a tool for advocacy or to bring awareness to a specific topic negatively impacting society? 

I have always felt that graphic art is such an incredible method to promote and advocate positive change in the world. In 5th grade I remember creating a poster in school that spoke towards over-use of air conditioning. In middle school, I produced flyers in the hope to bring awareness to my immediate family’s weekly waste habits (which, unfortunately went unheard).

I typically try to take at least one non-profit project per year. I developed the first iteration of Impact Young Adults’ website, an activity group for young adults with mental illness in San Diego, an event system and annual report for a human dignity group in Oregon and most recently helped a local non-profit get onboard with project management.

Diana Donaldson, founder of Rice Content Marketing and Design, had been working as a creative professional since 2006, providing graphic design, website design, illustration, content development and strategy services to individuals and teams. It’s incredible to be able to walk through the branding process with company leaders and business owners who know that their branding is important, but not quite sure what to do about it. I share in the excitement of my clients who see their identity systems for the first time and brand collateral distributed in the marketplace.

Images © Diana Donaldson. Used with permission.