Should Designers Engineer?

Cap Watkins:

I can’t remember which logical fallacy is being violated by the question, but using a perceived injustice to prevent yourself from acquiring new skills and responsibilities seems like a losing attitude. What other learning experiences are you denying yourself just because you see other people not learning things?

As a designer, I have to admit that there is a strong resistance to engineering, of a sort. It’s illogical, I know, so when I read that paragraph I chuckled.

Although Cap’s post is titled ‘Should Engineers Design’ the post reads more ‘Should Designers Engineer.’ At least, it did to me, because that’s how I relate to the topic.

I think there are ultimately two schools of designers: the people that wanted to be artists first, but on the job market they couldn’t keep that gig. Then there are designers, people that want to make good products. A designer at heart is more adept to engineering. An artist at heart will be more resistant.

Most small and large businesses I’ve come across expect designers and engineers to be problem solvers, and as such it will be important that they can juggle many hats. Learning code and Photoshop may not come naturally to you, but if you can do it, it’ll never make you less of a designer or engineer.


Joe Darnell

Joe is a UI and graphic designer with prior experience as the creative director for three media-based businesses. Joe’s passionate about web design and graphic design with about 15 years of experience in the media industry. Additionally, Joe is the host of the Top Brew and Techtonic podasts, both featured on iTunes.