Due to the nature of a job as graphic designer + account manager that I applied to recently and have been interviewed for, I have started to contemplate signs and their correlation to people more closely. My thoughts have varied from message making to demographics and efficiency.

One great example would be the Gap's latest seasonal campaign, which I find to be quite effective and appealing.

I wake up every day and encounter at least 25 to 50 signs within the hour. Logos, saved ephemera for my journal collages, newspapers (with over 1000 messages in logo and adverts alone,) and magazines, packaging, etc. I stray from T.V., which is constant bombardment of messages, adverts, and logos that happen to fry your brain cells if you let it. I get in my trusty car — named Marvolo — and incorrectly neglect the signs that I see on shops in the streets as parts of design. Guess what: they are. They’re signs, and even though a vast majority of them are not presentable in my eyes, they get the message across to people like me, and most importantly, to the masses.

Signs. So simple. Their existence is nearly transparent to us because we don’t even register the fact that they’re there, but they carry messages and they guide us from point A to point B.

I’m not talking about the universal road signs that guide us through traffic, because those have been made standard for the reason of clarity. That is a whole subject in itself, but I do understand traffic signage to be much more effective in the USA than in Puerto Rico for obvious reasons.

Need I say it, they pay more attention to minor details being right the first and only time. In Puerto Rico, the quicker and cheaper the better. Cheaper won’t necessarily fill the expectations of those who need to find their way now and not after they missed their exit. Additionally, signs in general remind us about things we don't know. They're there to teach those that are not aware and to persuade the rest that are not sure whether they want to pick A over B.

In demographics, I get lost within myself when I think about it. I sat down at the mall’s food court today to look solely at displays and signage placement, and also observed how people reacted to it. Most didn’t even seem aware of their surroundings because they were immersed in conversations about school, work, and relationships. Some, however, looked around rather curiously. I assumed they were not as familiar to the mall, just as I wasn’t, and were looking around for any messages directed towards them. Sales, services, what to get your super awesome Dad for his day, and how to get from point A to point B.

Even though I have been designing to make messages for years now, it shocked me when I realized I was looking at something so familiar to me through a different perspective. To be honest, even my career is shedding a different light to me lately.

People like to be told how to get to where they think they want to go. They also want to be listened to and helped. People love telling strangers their stories because they feel they are more likely to be listened to by somebody they don’t know, rather than telling those that surround them daily and that are probably involved in the same matters. In general, I have come to understand that people feel misunderstood in Puerto Rico, and their outgoing nature makes them tell strangers their most intimate thoughts in the hopes of making connections.

I fell in love with the world of signs, the world of losing and finding directions. Hopefully I will be more involved in it soon!

Things have been moving at a great pace lately. The chain unties event after event and I am getting a much better grasp of the person I have always dreamt of becoming.

For somebody always so alone — but not lonely — who knew that I'd have so much love and support keeping me going? Up until now I have been blessed by loving parents, lovers, friends, mentors, clients, and even strangers. Even if my life seems stagnant, I guess I can't forget those people that constantly show me they care for me and need me around. I have never felt comfortable unless I have a purpose or unless I am doing something that feels productive to me, but now I see that in the long run, what matters most is the people that remain by my side through all kinds of stormy events. They make it well worth the struggle, and the victory so much sweeter.

How many people can say that they have been invited to spend quiet afternoons with their clients? Leisure must always include work time, but it is super fulfilling to get to know my clients personally. With all the respect that a client/designer relationship requires, I feel super blessed to have had such rewarding experiences up until now.

Thank you everyone, and I mean that.


  1. Thank you Koonelli! I am so happy to be back in touch with you.

  2. This entry was very fresh and insightful. It really does seem like you've gained a different perspective of the work you do, and how you visualize things in general.

    Designers will always work with profiles, whether it is demographic, or psychographic. All that data is important to reach the right target group because not everyone will understand properly the message that is intended to be delivered if the message or imagery itself doesn’t contain the necessary elements to trigger the interest of that group of people. Not everyone thinks and reacts the same way, everyone is different.

    Everyone creates a bond or identification with something, and will always try to find a group of similar interests and ideologies where they can belong. Everyone wants to be part of something. It’s because of this very fact that collective data from different sources is gathered and interpreted to be able to speak to the public in a way that it will catch their attention using the right message, imagery and tone.

    Demographics deceit a range of similarities between groups that helps graphic designers transcript the information in visual content so that the message can be present and noticeable. The main goal is to be able to appeal to the group set in mind before executing, and that can only be done by having reference data in order to deliver the message with the visuals the best way possible according to the information obtained.

    Signs, advertising, logos and all graphic content will appeal to people in a group in a way where they can interpret the information given to them by decoding the messages due to the code in common they have. Designers should always have in mind that they need to use the right color, lines, shapes textures and typography in order to grasp the attention of their target. I think that's the problem in Puerto Rico, people in general forget to have in mind their target group. Not everyone is truly committed. To make effective graphic design that truly conveys a message, true effort, value and passion to their work is of great importance. I think having in mind all of these concepts is what makes professional graphic designers.

    I apologize for making the comment so long. I feel that in my scholar field of advertising, target groups are what I feel most passionate about.

    Keep up the fantastic work on your blog, I’m very proud of all the effort and work you’ve done. I’ll be rooting for you on your professional and personal endeavors.

    I love you.

  3. This post was both refreshing and insightful. It really shows that your perspective about your work has changed over time.

    I think demographics, psychographics and all data compiled to understand a pattern and behavior of a target group is important. Everyone has a yearn to belong somewhere, so eventually they will have similar characteristics and will be attracted to things related to their interests because it “talks” to them, and it's those same characteristics any company willing to grow will use to make profiles of those target groups desired to be able to deliver a message the correct and most relevant way possible.

    Icons, ads, signs, they're all a part of someone's effort in trying to communicate something, but sometimes the message fails to be delivered because it's not always well elaborated based on the insightful information provided. It’s a guide that can tell what shapes, textures, colors, lines and typography are needed to be used in order to appeal a certain group of people. I think that’s what separates an average graphic designer from a true professional. Demographics and psychographics can be used as a guide to be able to talk to a certain group of people with similar characteristics in a specific code they will decipher and understand. I think that's the problem in P.R, there are graphic designers that take their job too lightly and make do with what they're asked to or they even omit by default what's really important. In general, design isn't really just design, it’s a communication tool. A medium where true professionals can channel their efforts into making their creations eye catching and effective at delivering the message intended at the same time.

    You’ve done a wonderful job so far. I congratulate you on your spectacular blog posts. You have grown professionally and personally in many different aspects.

    Keep up the good work.

    I love you

  4. Marzs,

    It seems I did get both posts. The first one was stowed away in a compartment under 'Spam' section. How rude of Blogspot to treat you like spam!

    You couldn't have said it any better in your comments, so I have nothing more to add other than the fact that I agree with what you said.

    Thanks so much for your support, and for coming back here time and time again to check out what I have written.