10 Reasons Why Stars Wars Fans Make Great Designers
In a galaxy far, far away … or so the story goes.
But Star Wars™ fans will tell you the lessons we learn from that galaxy far away are not only relevant, but important for our lives today. Some of those lessons relate to good and evil, loyalty and camaraderie … and some of them relate to design!
“Star Wars has had an extraordinary impact on the current generation of media makers,” says Professor Jared Miracle of the Ocean University of China. “The sheer variety of visual effects and scene-crafting shown in Star Wars has given dedicated fans the ideal study tool for design work.”
Maybe you’ve never considered becoming a graphic designer, but as graphic designing Star Wars fans are about to reveal—you might just be missing your true calling!
Star Wars fans make great graphic designers because…
1. They consume a whole universe of good design
The concept illustrations for Star Wars set a standard for timeless, clean and compelling design. Jacob Kuddes, designer at Fun.com, points out how even the background characters in Star Wars fire your imagination, just because they look cool.
“Boba Fett doesn't say much; he mostly just stands around and cradles his rifle. But he sure looks great doing it,” Kuddes says.
He adds that the Star Wars galaxy is so realistic it makes you wish you lived there. That world has proven influential in film and design time and time again. “Being a Star Wars fan is to constantly be immersed in beautiful and (at least seemingly) functional visual design."
2. They have an attentive eye for detail
The Star Wars franchise offers a whole legacy of evolving design detail, and fans have gotten used to spotting the specifics. Miracle says Star Wars fans have to develop a detailed eye to keep up with changes made to different film editions over time.
“The original Mos Eisley scenes next to the special edition? I don't know whether to praise or blame,” Miracle says.
3. They’re accustomed to pushing design boundaries
“Star Wars fans were introduced to a vast galaxy of bold, effective, articulate design from the get-go,” says Brit Ashcraft, lead graphic designer at Alternative Strategies. When those features are the design standard you go by, average, mundane work isn’t even on your radar. Ashcraft says every detail from the droids to Empire propaganda was designed with care and attention, resulting in a cohesive, beautiful and powerful brand that has lasted through the decades.
“It inspired designers and fans alike to push the boundaries of the design universe,” Ashcroft adds.
4. They believe in the power of color
“The golds and oranges from the setting suns of Tatooine, the blues and blacks of the carbon-freezing chamber duel on Bespin…” Preston Kelly designer Bud Snead cites the color of these memorable scenes as a foundational lesson in design. Envision all of the lush greens in that speeder chase through the woods on Endor and you’ll understand how vibrancy sticks in the mind.
“Color had a huge impact in all of these scenes and in essence branded each film in my head,” Snead says.
5. They know love can cloud your judgment
“A Jedi should not fall in love,” says Russ Merritt, program coordinator for the Rasmussen College School of Design. In the same way that Anakin’s love put him on a path to the dark side, holding your own work too dear is the best way to ruin it.
“Do not let your love for a piece of work cloud your judgment,” Merritt warns. Sometimes you’re forced to cut things you love for the sake of the overall design.
6. They rely on 'The Force' rather than technology when making design decisions
“As a digital artist, it is often tempting to allow software tricks and trendy filters to dictate the direction of a design,” says Jarrod Wright, marketing director at Chargebacks911. The truth, however, is that the best designs typically don’t rely on technological shortcuts. “Like Luke Skywalker, designers should turn off their targeting systems and trust the force when delivering creativity torpedoes.”
7. They understand the importance of planning
Though things ended up working out for Han Solo, Merritt advises designers to side with Leia’s retort: “You came in here and you didn’t have a plan for getting out?”
Blundering into a design with guns ablaze and hoping for the best is a great way to get people killed—ok, not really! But it’s hard on your work and a waste of resources. “Good designers always have a plan,” Merritt adds.
8. They’ve already been exposed to international aesthetics
The Star Wars universe is absolutely brimming with design-distinctive settings. Inspiration for those visual elements came from real-world cultures, explains Miracle. “Graphic designers who love the Holy Trilogy have an unusually solid grasp of international trends,” he says.
9. They understand that success requires hard work
Good design takes a lot of hard work and skill. It takes dedication, precision and re-working the details over and over. But Star Wars fans would expect nothing less in the process of creating marvelous masterpieces out of nothing. As Merritt (and Han Solo) says, “It ain't like dusting crops, boy!”
10. Obviously, the force is with them
“Our midi-chlorian count is crazy high,” jokes Alex Filippone, designer at Huemor. When you know you have that potential, you won’t be placing limits on what you can and cannot accomplish in your work. A vibrant imagination is vital for creative work, but without the confidence that you can achieve what you’re attempting, those epic ideas will never see the light of day.
Is 'The Force' with you?
Star Wars fans love to spend time in this creative galaxy—and some even get paid for it! The convincing characters and mesmerizing special effects that make up the Star Wars movies don’t create themselves. A team full of devoted designers breathes life into each and every scene.
Interested in joining their ranks? Learn about what it takes to become a motion graphics designer.
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