The fight against ugliness

by Abigail Westbrook

The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness, just like a doctor fights against disease. For us, the visual disease is what we have around [us], and what we’re trying to do is to cure it somehow, with design.
– Massimo Vignelli

As a graphic designer, I smile when I think of my job in Massimo Vignelli’s eloquent terms. Indeed, in my own small way, I am a crusader, a soldier, a world-changer. I am not merely another person compelled to join the masses of humanity that must sell eight or more hours of every day, just to make enough money to pay for basic necessities. I have a life-changing calling.

To be a designer is to carry out a unique role. It’s a chance to create beauty, as God does, often out of chaos and seeming “nothingness.” It is the ability to bring order to a tiny corner of this crazy, messy world. It is an opportunity to demonstrate faithfulness, punctuality, graciousness, honesty, and generosity – even when working with intractable clients. It is an ongoing lesson in communication and patience, learning how to put others first and how to sense what they are needing.

And ultimately, as a designer I am privileged to have a part in presenting TRUTH in a worthy manner. I passionately believe that no good message should ever be obscured by confusing design or disregarded because of ugliness. To come alongside authors, musicians, and those with other ministries, to partner with them, bringing God’s truth to the waiting world with a clear, beautiful presentation…this is a true joy. I can say without hesitation that God created me to bring glory to Him through this work.

I am not a designer by choice or ambition, nor because it is a fulfillment of a personal dream. This is not where I imagined myself, spending hours alone at the computer while my husband goes off to work each day. I see my role as wife to be far more important, and Lord-willing my life will in time also hold the precious responsibilities of motherhood.

But design work is what God has called me to do today: it is the sphere of service to which my Master has assigned me, the niche for which He has carefully honed my interests and abilities. Walking through the doors of opportunity He opened before me has brought an unexpected measure of joy, and I have seen His fingerprints of blessing at every turn.

May God give me wisdom in this task He has set before me, that I may do it heartily, as unto Him.

Married a year now, Abigail Westbrook still calls herself a newlywed, and a very blessed one at that. She and her husband, Joe, have a cozy little townhouse in Des Moines, Iowa, where they both enjoy reading, writing, couponing, photography, and hospitality.


  1. Nice graphics, can see you are really gifted.

  2. Samantha R says:

    Beautifully said, Abigail. To God be the Glory!

  3. Yay Abi! You go girl. Continue to good fight for beauty and loveliness! 😀 Thanks for being such a blessed inspiration. 🙂

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