One of the most important skills that someone can have is to be punctual. This does not just mean to be on time for work. What I mean is that any employee working in any field should be able to meet deadlines. As many of you probably know, designing is not a fast process. This is why most designers need a formula to help get the job done within the allotted amount of time.
Following an outlined design process will help out greatly to achieve a unique and effective design as quickly as possible, and excel at your job. The process will vary from designer to designer but only slightly. For the most part you want to obtain your objective, brainstorm like crazy, present your ideas, and refine the selections to the point where a final product can be chosen. If time permits, here is a good step by step on how to design:
1. The Objective
Your client, or supervisor will come to you and explain what is desired. Sometimes in design, your goals aren’t clearly laid out for you. At times like these, you need to remember to question exactly what the client wants, and if they don’t know exactly what they want, that’s your clue to be as creative as you desire. Start throwing out any ideas that come to mind and think creatively with the client to try to narrow down the objective.
In this stage, you will want to research your topic and especially figure out who the target audience is. Jot down some ideas you think might work. This is your chance to come up with some unique and creative solutions to your problem. Be sure to capture all of your thoughts and ideas because you may need to come back to them over and over again.
Now, you have to put all of your research and good thoughts on paper (or on screen). Be sure to step back from your work and attempt to analyze what is working and not working. Also, make sure you get other peoples’ opinions on your designs. It always helps to hear outsider and insider opinions. Never forget that everyone has creative ideas and their two cents can sometimes help you find your solution faster.
4. Present Ideas
It is time to show your ideas off to the client (or supervisor). Always remember when people criticize your work it is usually for the best, especially if they know what they want. Constructive criticism is quite helpful. Do not take offense if someone does not like your design. You will take these thoughts and use them in the next step. Always remember that the way you present this work can have a profound impact on how the ideas are received by the client. Professionalism is the key to win over the client’s trust and lead to more work. So don’t just make sure your designs are effective, make sure your presentation is as well.
Now that the client has directed you to come to a conclusion, you can narrow down and refine your previous ideas. Once you are done, hopefully your goal will be accomplished, and all parties will be completely satisfied.
Greetings! I’m Bradley Pearce, the art director here at Burning Oak Studios. In this blog I plan to discuss different parts of the design process and how things work around here. So be expecting some tips and tricks that you may find helpful with designing for print, web, and video.
First things first, there are certain standards in the design world that some will say absolutely must be followed. Always, always, always ask why? If you ever come across a line, a font, a color, or anything that you think doesn’t belong in a design, question it. There needs to be a reason for all the design elements to be in their places, if there is not, then that probably means it is unnecessary and it can be removed to make it a simpler and more effective design. There are standards in place for a good reason… because they WORK… most of the time. But rules can be bent and even broken to achieve a unique aesthetic value that will grab the viewers’ attention, perhaps more so than following the rules. So to you designers out there, don’t ever let someone tell you that you must follow their rules.
Moving onwards, I would like to discuss typefaces, and making choices in designs. There are certain questions that one should ask themselves when trying to narrow down what fonts to use in a design.
What is the desired style that reflects the meaning of the project? i.e. Serif, Sans Serif, Script, Old Style, etc.
What is the purpose of the text you are using? i.e. Will it be a title or body copy?
Where will this text go and how will it effect spatial relations?
Is the type intended to be legible or decorative?
Is it for print, web, or video? (If for video, text must be at least 24 pt to be legible)
If you step back from your work and ask yourself these questions from time to time, you may end up changing your choices. But that’s a lot of what being a graphic designer is about. We have to brainstorm, experiment, and choose over and over. Lather, rinse, repeat until the end result is satisfying not only to the designer, but the intended audience. The point needs to be communicated quickly and effectively. Most people do not have an attention span large enough to attempt to decipher more challenging designs. That’s why we’re here.
A common misconception about shooting portraits is that going outdoors to shoot on a “beautiful” day will result in “beautiful” photos. This is not necessarily the truth. What we call a beautiful day usually consists of a cloudless blue sky and prominent sunlight. This is great for the sky and if you are shooting landscapes or textures it might make for a useful shooting scenario.
But harsh, direct sunlight is not very flattering to the human face. It casts dark shadow on even the smallest imperfection of the skin, highlighting bumps, scars, wrinkles, etc. You can look in the mirror in the relatively dim tungsten lighting of your bathroom vanity and think you look just fine but exposed under the intense, hard light of the sun your features will come out looking significantly more distorted.
You’ll get much better results waiting until a nice, thick cloud-cover rolls into town. On an overcast day, the clouds function to scatter the sun’s rays, providing an even, non-directional source of light. This eliminates the shadows that exaggerate facial imperfections while retaining most of the exposure-friendly brightness of daylight. And as long as you choose a suitable background and avoid getting the cloudy gray sky in your frame nobody will suspect you shot such “beautiful” photos on such an “ugly” day.
Welcome to the blog of Burning Oak Studios, a Raleigh video production company. Here you’ll be able to find useful tips for your everyday video, photography, editing, and design projects. Our experienced team of video and design professionals will share their knowledge with you, free of charge.
And feel free to contact us with any questions you might have or subjects you’d like explored and we’ll update our posts for you.