I used to think that if someone is smart, he/she can become anyone - a doctor, lawyer, geophysicist or even astronaut but I am wrong. David Carlson's opinion on "A lack of design knowledge" and the responding articles from other designers have made me realize that there is really a portion of talent to define success. I have work with many "designers" whom believe that they have the capability to "design". Some of them did not receive proper training. Their design could not speak their clients' message or did not follow the design spec. They work as "graphic designers" either for money only or because they know how to use the software, so they think they can design.
To me, the priority of design is to communicate. We speak our clients' message in their language through graphics. This is my simplest definition of graphic design. I have met some designers who simply created something visually stunning but lost the purpose of the design. I guess it is a matter of mind setting. As a graphic communicator, creating eye candies is of course important but bearing in mind what we are doing and why we are doing it should be above any steps in our design process. My advertising direction instructor once asked us what message we are trying to leave to the audience after they have seen our ad -- did we make them think that the product is really better than others? Did we educate them as we intended to? Did we trigger their urge of owning the product? This is the designer/art director's responsibility. If we can't leave anything in our audience's mind after they saw our design, we have wasted our time of doing it.
After all, I think setting the right mind is more crucial than having talent.