Basic tips for emerging designers

By: Dylan Lawson

At the end of the day your client has hired you to make their design for them so don’t be afraid to incorporate your own vision.

Design is something that can often be seen everywhere you look; be it phone, billboard, or even a scrap of paper stuck to your car. It’s something that we sometimes hardly think about, yet has been crucial to the success of some of the most powerful organizations on the planet. It’s kinda a big deal, and I’d like to share some simple tips for anyone looking to try their hand at creating a design.

Planning and The Process

So this may seem obvious, but it’s important to know what you want to accomplish in the first place. When starting a project you won’t immediately know every little detail you want to incorporate, so it’s a good idea to start brainstorming what you want to include. Furthermore, it’s imperative that you record every idea you can come up with no matter how small or insignificant, even if it’s just three words on a sticky note. You never know when those three words will be the answer to a huge problem you can no longer solve since you threw away that note and can’t remember what they are anymore! It’s just a bad idea to try and keep everything in your head, Because you can never guarantee you’ll remember it later. 

It’s also important to understand that not everything will, or even should, go to plan. When actually in the moment of putting your plan into action, you may come up with an Idea on the spot or find a limitation you’ll need to work around. It’s very important to be flexible.

Color

In regards to actual design elements, it’s also important to understand the impact color has over people’s perception. Each and every shade will elicit different emotional responses depending on a whole host of circumstances. For example, according to incredibleart.org the color green can evoke a feeling of nature and the environment, or envy and sickness depending where the color is (such as a tree vs. a person “looking a little green”). Similarly the color red can be associated with bravery and passion, yet it can also be negatively linked to fire, blood, and overall danger. 

Hierarchy

Another big aspect of design is hierarchy, the way our eyes are drawn to the piece. As with all art, a design, no matter how complex or simplistic, is composed of different parts. Pieces will always have different levels of importance according to placement, size difference, and even color choice. But regardless it’s always important to control the way information is given to the viewer. Even in cases where you don’t think hierarchy will be a contributing factor, it’s important to look at the hierarchy beyond your design. For example: how does a logo look on packaging as opposed to in a magazine, what about on social media? In almost every case, a design is never solitary and will need to coexist with other elements, so steps should be taken to make sure it is complimented rather than hindered.

Client input

Finally it’s important to consider the circumstances behind the design, specifically whether or not it’s being created for a client. For one, frequent and detailed communication is incredibly important. You are attempting to process something another person is visualizing. Not to mention that different clients will have different levels of understanding over what they want, which can be incredibly precise or imprecise. Consistently staying in contact and receiving feedback is necessary to make sure everyone is on the same page. At the end of the day your client has hired you to make their design for them so don’t be afraid to incorporate your own vision (otherwise they would have done it themselves).

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