The demand for graphic design stems from its effectiveness in relaying intended meaning through creative visual representations. While its functionality is often the subject of interest, this paper takes an alternative view of graphic design not as a medium of communication, but as a relevant profession to be explored in light of the experience of Filipino graphic designers who struggle to reconcile their artistry with client or company needs and preferences. The research uses qualitative methods such as focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, and case studies. By gathering personal insights of Filipino graphic designers across different fields, this paper finds that there are “walls to communication” that often hinder successful design negotiation. Breaking through the barriers to negotiation calls designers to employ professional standard approaches in order to establish an interdependent working relationship with the client and produce a good design. Among the results discussed in this paper include the concept of “strategic artistry” as an approach that presents a solution to unfavourable designer-client negotiations yet opens debate in the absence of a code of ethics for graphic designers in the Philippines. The overall findings of this research share the realities in the profession to build awareness of the challenges faced and the solutions available in enhancing the level of professionalism in the graphic design practice. The theoretical underpinnings of the conceptual framework used in this research is guided by Cheney and Ashcraft’s theory on professionalism.