Are you a betting person?
What if I asked you to guess whether a random graphic designer plucked off the street was a Conservative or a Leftist? Get it right, and I'll give you $500. Now I bet you suddenly ARE a betting person because everyone knows that designers are leftists. I get this from people everywhere I go. They meet me, and if the first thing I tell them about myself is my job then a whole host of assumptions about my political and philosophical beliefs comes flooding in. I probably like AOC, think Marxism is great and want state-run healthcare for all. Naturally, my favorite campaign was the Obama Hope campaign and I think Ben & Jerry's is a really brave company for speaking out about climate change.
None of these things are true about me. It turns out I'm a "hardcore conservative" and a big-time fan of Free Market economics. I work for PragerU, which educates young Americans about the ideas that make America great. So why do these complete strangers get me wrong after hearing I work in design? Because most designers they meet would check off every one of those boxes. Your $500 bet is a virtual guarantee.
Now that's unfortunate for society, because it means that the people most skilled to create beauty and clarity are more interested in creating perversion and chaos. How could they not be? Have you opened a book of essays on design recently? I have. It's not pretty.
There's not so much about good typography or color theory or grid systems as there is about the "cultural imperative to overturn hegemonic klepto-patriarchal classism." Everything is about deconstructing norms, unpacking basic moral staples, and then vaguely sprinkling in a bit of self-expression. Art schools and design schools are turning out vacant minds wielding paint brushes and photoshop for whatever manipulative cause can squeeze itself into their ears. They are not teaching design students to be professional or to love their country. Worse, they are teaching that to do so is selfish and evil. The only good way to be a designer is by rejecting anything remotely conservative, patriotic, or self-interested.
I'm here to tell you that it's all a lie. You can be a good designer who loves their country, is patriotic, and pursues their own self-interest. Sure a lot of designers really do believe in leftism and think it's the fullest expression of their craft, but I also know a few bankers and insurance employees who are into socialism. Everyone can be a hypocrite, even designers. As long as you know that there's another option, then my mission is complete. Not only CAN you be a conservative designer, you SHOULD be one. Here are 5 compelling reasons why:
It Will Help You Get Paid for Designing
Are you thinking about what other people want when you design? We've all heard the stereotype about the "starving artist" but we also know that in America, under the free market, "starving" is an exaggeration. Usually the label applies to that dude you know who makes weird drip paintings and otherwise works a normal job. He's not thinking about what his art can do for others. For him, art is really a hobby and his job pays the bill. Maybe he's a fan of socialism, but that's not going to help. In real socialism, starving means starving and you don't even have to be an artist to do it. Wouldn't you rather pursue your art is a craft or profession with the possibility that you can make it a lucrative career? Then adopt the conservative value of entrepreneurship - start making for others!
It Will Help You Express Yourself
Individualism is a core conservative principle. You're encouraged to know yourself and therefore to express yourself with confidence. A lot of designers fall for the leftwing version of self-expression, which is just doing weird stuff that other people don't understand. Well the truth is, most designers doing this don't really know themselves. That's why they feel misunderstood by others. It's also why nobody takes their work seriously. Every designer should embrace this conservative principle: figure out who you really are. Try to understand yourself. It will let you better express yourself to others.
Your Work Will Improve
Hard work wins. Good work wins big. That's a conservative principle too. Let me ask any leftwing designer this: How much time do you dedicate toward doing objectively good work? I bet you spend a lot more time on the scatological and the mundane. That's what the left thinks of as edgy, but it isn't difficult or of high quality. Embrace hard work and you will surely get better.
You Will Gain Respect Among Non-Designers
Maybe your work actually is too provocative. Maybe it really is too ahead of its time and misunderstood. But I doubt it, and here's the hard truth: Most non-designers are not going to be impressed by these excuses. That should worry you because their respect is the difference between you being seen as a creative guy or as a weirdo. These are the people who will hire you. They'll put your work up on their wall and invite you to parties. Unfortunately, that's very unlikely to happen if you fail to adopt a conservative mindset. Hard work, a strong sense of self that you can articulate to others, and a drive to make for others are all that non-designers want from you. Not edgy excuses. So get some respect, be conservative.
Your Whole Life Will Not Be About Design
Shockingly, design isn't everything. A conservative mindset will help you realize this. You have obligations to meet outside your studio. Spending a few extra hours on photoshop perfecting a personal project is not going to find you a girlfriend, make your wife happy, or show your friends that you care about them. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't want design to be your crutch because your values are bad. Be conservative and place your obligations on a pedestal. Get a life!
There you have it. Five compelling reasons that every designer should be conservative. Some of these reasons might have sounded like common sense but are you doing them?You might also have noticed that these could apply to every profession. You're right! In fact, that's the whole point.
Leftism takes everyone and reduces them to a role, whereas conservatism teaches you to be more than what you do. You're a human being that should stand tall and do whatever you're doing well. You should have a life and fulfillment - but it's not going to come from being a designer, banker, insurance employee, or any of that. You will be fulfilled by taking on a conservative mindset that injects healthy moral values into all your activities.These 5 pointers should be a good place to start.
I hope you designers in particular have found this article helpful. We're so beaten down because of the misconception that creativity belongs to the left. Maybe you've been buying that narrative. Fortunately for you there's a way out. You have it within you to hit that giant CTRL-Z in your mind and start anew. Good luck!