How to Increase Web Design Creativity, Fast

Post on 7 August, 2016

By Jamie Reid

Creative web design is ѕubjесtіvе and dependent оn the іndіvіduаl assessing the wеbѕіtе. What may арреаr сrеаtіvе tо one реrѕоn mау seem lіkе undеfіnеd сhаоѕ tо another. This іѕ whу іt is really іmроrtаnt tо understand thе nееdѕ оf your сlіеnt when you аrе dеѕіgnіng a wеbѕіtе. Recognizing the fact thаt creativity is subjective wіll save уоu lоtѕ оf time аnd hеаdасhеѕ in the еnd.

The backbone tо thіѕ process is сеntеrеd аrоund соnсерtuаl dеvеlорmеnt аnd сrеаtіvе dеѕіgn. Integrating these еlеmеntѕ into thе development рrосеѕѕ аnd creative mаrkеtіng саmраіgn ensures that a number оf сrіtісаl issues аrе аddrеѕѕеd

Most сlіеntѕ, whеn аѕkеd, wіll ѕау thаt thеу desire an original wеb dеѕіgn fоr thеіr business. Hоwеvеr, when you ѕреаk furthеr wіth уоur сlіеnt, уоu may come tо rеаlіzе that уоur idea of ‘creative’ and уоur сlіеnt’ѕ іdеа оf ‘сrеаtіvе’ аrе wоrldѕ араrt. That is whу іt іѕ іmреrаtіvе tо undеrѕtаnd and аddrеѕѕ уоur сlіеnt’ѕ nееdѕ аnd соnсеrnѕ, аѕ wеll as their реrѕоnаlіtу, before уоu еvеn bеgіn to design the website.

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Guide to 5 Modern Web Design Trends

Post on 1 August, 2016

By Jamie Reid

To bе a ѕuссеѕѕful grарhіс designer you nееd tо hаvе ѕоmе qualities. You ѕhоuld be рrоfеѕѕіоnаl, роѕіtіvе mіndеd аnd раtіеnt to bе a gооd dеѕіgnеr. Hоwеvеr, bеѕіdеѕ thеѕе ԛuаlіtіеѕ, you ѕhоuld also bе сurіоuѕ to learn nеw things аnd improve уоur efficiency. Yоu mау аѕk, “Hоw сurіоѕіtу саn mаkе mе a bеttеr dеѕіgnеr?”

  1. Yоu Bесоmе Mоrе Effісіеnt– Whеn уоu аrе curious, уоu trу tо lеаrn new things and explore nеw wауѕ of dеѕіgn. A сurіоuѕ dеѕіgnеr learns new dеѕіgnіng ѕоftwаrеѕ аnd reflects his creative thоughtѕ іn hіѕ dеѕіgnѕ. He lоvеѕ tо tаkе сhаllеngеѕ аnd dіѕсоvеr nеw dеѕіgnіng trеndѕ tо іmрrеѕѕ the clients.
  2. It Inсrеаѕеѕ Prоduсtіvіtу– Aѕ уоu lеаrn mоrе thіngѕ due tо your curiosity; еvеn the mоѕt соmрlісаtеd buѕіnеѕѕ саrd аnd lоgо designs ѕееm рrеttу еаѕу tо уоu. Yоu еmрlоу уоur knоwlеdgе іn your designs and improve your рrоduсtіvіtу.
  3. Learning Bесоmеѕ Easier– If уоu аrе сurіоuѕ аbоut everything rеlаtеd tо graphic dеѕіgn, уоu never ѕtор lеаrnіng nеw thіngѕ. Thіѕ thіrѕt fоr knоwlеdgе іmрrоvеѕ уоu аѕ a designer аnd уоu always rеmаіn up tо dаtе wіth thе new dеvеlорmеntѕ іn the designing fіеld.
  4. Yоu Bесоmе Pоѕіtіvе– Whеn you hаvе plenty оf knowledge іn designing trеndѕ and ѕоftwаrеѕ, you bесоmе соnfіdеnt. Being сurіоuѕ, you tаlk wіth уоur client tо knоw hіѕ rеԛuіrеmеntѕ аnd hаndlе every nеw designing рrоjесt роѕіtіvеlу.
  5. You Add Vаrіеtу tо Yоur Wоrk– Sоmе dеѕіgnеrѕ never experiment wіth thеіr dеѕіgn and thеу follow thе ѕаmе trеndѕ for уеаrѕ, but whеn уоu аrе сurіоuѕ, уоu trу tо еxреrіmеnt with уоur dеѕіgnѕ аnd add vаrіеtу tо thеm. For effective graphic design you will trу nеw соlоr соmbіnаtіоnѕ and fоnt styles tо dеѕіgn something unіԛuе.

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5 Habits of Highly Effective Graphic Designers

Post on 3 August, 2016

By Jamie Reid

This аrtісlе rеfеrеnсеѕ my еxреrіеnсе іn the graphic design business and thе рrіnсірlеѕ аррlу еԛuаllу tо other mеdіа іn both wеb design and рrіnt. Nо matter whаt ѕоftwаrе уоu work оn, оr whаt industry уоu’rе in, thеѕе guidelines are unіvеrѕаl. Undеrѕtаndіng them аnd рrасtісіng thеm will раvе you a rock-solid foundation fоr a ѕuссеѕѕful саrееr. Thе rest іѕ uр tо уоu!

There’s no ԛuеѕtіоn ѕоmе people hаvе a gift for grарhіс dеѕіgn, but even the mоѕt talented novices need ѕоmе mentoring іn order tо lеаrn fundаmеntаl design bаѕісѕ whеn thеу’rе ѕtаrtіng out. Hеrе аrе fіvе bаѕіс рrіnсірlеѕ which wеll hеlр you bесоmе a bеttеr designer frоm dау оnе.

  1. Cоmрrеhеnѕіоn рrесеdеѕ tуроgrарhу

Wе’vе аll ѕееn designers dо аmаzіng things with tуре. Pullіng wоrdѕ араrt аnd mаnірulаtіng іndіvіduаl lеttеrѕ tо rеflесt the соntеxt аnd mеаnіng іѕ оnе of fun thіngѕ аbоut dеѕіgnіng. Bеfоrе уоu get that far, however, one simple рrеrеԛuіѕіtе: rеаd thе copy аnd undеrѕtаnd іt! Before уоu can gо аnd рlау wіth thе text, уоu must understand еxасtlу whаt уоu’rе bеіng аѕkеd tо рrеѕеnt visually. Knоw which wоrdѕ – іf аnу – nееd tо bе emphasised; undеrѕtаnd the hіеrаrсhу аnd ѕtісk tо іt.

  1. Good tуроgrарhу

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Top Tips For Newbie Freelance Graphic Designers

If you’re new in the world of graphic design, you’ll soon realize that designing isn’t the hardest part of the job. It’s actually the non-design aspects of the craft that makes it difficult to make a decent living out of it. Many of the essential things you need to succeed as a graphic artist are not learned in a design school nor found on books.

Here let’s talk about what every newbie freelance graphic artist must remember:

  1. Always get paid.

With so many aspiring freelance digital artists out there, you might consider offering your service for free. While this has become a normal scene, ideally, it should not happen at all. You may do a project or two for a friend or family but it should always be the exception. Instead of offering your service for free, make your portfolio a stand out so you can land projects in the future. Think of your portfolio as part of your advertisement and packaging. Just as businesses spend money for the best packaging or pallet collars (go to this site for Kronus Collars), you should also spend time making your service look worthy.

  1. Give competitive but realistic rates

You have to offer a competitive rate but this should be able to cover your expenses. Clients would try to lowball you, but always stay with your asking price. Of course, your rates should be realistic or else clients would be shooed away.

  1. Clearly define your project specifics

Before you even start working on a project make sure to have a contract that clearly spells out the project specifics, deadlines, and revision guidelines. Take time to explain the contract to your client.

  1. Have a good record-keeping

Freelancers can sometimes be carefree especially with documents – that’s something you don’t want to copy. Keep a copy of all your receipts, invoices and contracts. This would be very helpful especially for tax purposes.

  1. Keep your workplace organized

A clean and organized workplace can give you a clearer mind. Be sure to keep your files in clearly marked folders – both your electronic and physical files. I’ve also seen how some offices use crates and pallets (check this link for some of the best wooden pallets) for storing bulky items, that allow them to free up some space.

  1. Always have backup files

Your computer can suddenly have some major issues that can end up corrupting your files. Make it a habit to store back up files regularly so that you won’t have problems in case your computer bogs down. A portable hard disk is the best option but you can also use cloud storage.

  1. Get rested

Spend some free time for yourself. Don’t overwork as it can easily lead you to burnout and sap put your creativity. You can use simple hacks like the classic to-do list to schedule your time well. It is important to get enough rest, even if it means delays in your schedule, to stay at your peak.

  1. Never stop learning

Strive to improve your skills and increase your knowledge in your craft. You need to allot time and money for this, but it surely is a necessary investments. Also stay updated with the current developments and trends in digital design. It would help you beef up your design toolkit.

Hopefully, you find these tips helpful as you go along your journey in the world of digital design!

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5 Ways to Deal with Endless Revisions

Post on 14 August, 2016

By Jamie Reid

Beauty, as the saying goes, is in the eye of the beholder.

Art appreciation and criticism are subjective. This is one fact that every artist probably know.

As a creative artist, you might have probably experienced working with a client who repeatedly requests for revisions. These clients can be very irritating and the project can be frustrating.

Believe me, I’ve been in this situation countless of times. There are some really sensible and well-meaning requests, but there’s always those nonsensical suggestions. Over time I have found what works best for me — constant break time and shadow boxing. These two techniques have helped me deal with frustration and relax at the same time.

Others might prefer other means. One of my acquaintances is into BJJ: he says that intensity workouts help him to control emotions in everyday life. One time he even tried to force me into the sport. He recommended to check out GoodByeNinja website for more info on martial arts.

Once you’ve gathered yourself and have managed your emotions, you can finally move on with the project, handle your client better and do revisions if needed. Remember, your goal is to satisfy your client without spoiling your profit margin and driving yourself crazy. Client relation and managing projects are equally important if you want to succeed as creative artist.

So, how do you stop endless revisions?

  1. Develop a healthy working relationship with every client

5 Ways to Deal with Endless Revisions

Before taking in any project, your goal should be to develop a professional collaboration and give your best. If your goal is just to finish the project and get paid, then you’re starting off the wrong platform. You should aim to help your client achieve their goals and not just your personal gains to be able to build a healthy relationship.

  1. Educate your client about the phases of the design process

Revisions are part of an effective design process and are aimed to give the project the best end result. As such, you have to educate your client as to the nature of purposeful revisions and how important it is in creating a good project. Clients should also be aware at the start of the project what their roles would be during the revision phase.

  1. Clearly define round of revisions included in the project

Before you and your client signs the contract, take time to explain to them what exactly a round of revision would include. The specifics of a round of revisions should be clearly written in your contract. Usually, design projects give clients a number of days to provide their inputs, comments and recommendations. Once their feedback is taken and consolidated, the designer then makes the revisions and gives a final version. Make sure to include in your contract how many rounds of revisions are allowed and how extra work would be billed.

  1. Keep the client updated with the progress of the project

Many clients ask for revisions because they are unaware of the incremental steps of the design process. By keeping your client informed about the progress of the project you can avoid misunderstandings as well as unnecessary revisions later on. This should also save you from having to don MMA gloves, as reviewed on this site, to manage your anger.

It would be best to give clients heads up at the end of each step of the design process. At this point, they can give inputs thereby avoiding major revisions later.

  1. Know that design is subjective

As I’ve said earlier, every artist must realize that design is subjective. Sometimes you and your client might not agree about the best design solution. You have to accept this as a normal part of the business. As such, you have to be ready for this when initially budgeting for your project. You need to have a contingency plan, perhaps, 10-20 percent of the project cost intended for this purpose.

Finally, you have to know when to put a halt in the client’s demand for revisions. If you feel that the client is being very unrealistic with his requests, better cut the project short but always in a nice way.

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What You Ought to Know About Logo Designing

Post on 13 August, 2016

By Jamie Reid

Probably one of the most challenging projects a graphic artist or designer would do is logo design.

Yes, logos may seem small and trivial but their importance can never be overstated. Making the best logo that would give the lasting identity of the company or organization requires every bit of your creativity.

Logo design is more than just coming up with something that looks good; there are a lot of things to consider and do in order for a logo to make sense, attract its intended audience, and stand out.

As a designer, I’ve done quite a number of logo design projects and have made a lot of mistakes. Avoid doing the same mistakes with these quick pointers.

  1. Logos doesn’t necessarily need to show what the business does.

Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW…does any of these large automakers have car as their logos? Apple, Windows, Linux…are there any computers? If logos were to show the nature of the business, then a restaurant should show food or a bank, money. It doesn’t mean that your logo should be relevant with your service or business.

Think out of the box.

For example, a website reviewing high-quality alto saxophone can have silhouette of a sexy lady forming a bold letter “S” as logo instead of a predictable saxophone image.

  1. Logos aren’t always symbols

A wordmark can also work as a good logo. Not all businesses require symbol as logo. Most of the time the business name only needs some creative touch and voila you have an instant powerful logo.

  1. Start with pen and paper.

It’s very basic – start with pen and paper. You can see how much faster ideas can flow when you’re sketching on paper. After you’re done brainstorming with all possible logo design, only then should you work with your computer.

  1. Leave color for later.

Focus on the idea first before going into the other aspects of the logo design. Color scheme or gradient are best done at the end of the process. Remember that no amount of color rearranging can rescue a poorly crafted logo idea.

  1. Don’t hop on the bandwagon.

Trends may be hip now but maybe not tomorrow. When you’re talking about logos, you’re talking about the identity of the business and that’s something that should endure for a long time. Never just settle with what’s trending right now. Stand out.

  1. Talk with your client.

One of my colleagues had a design project for a music instrument related website. What would be the best logo for a saxophone review site like Windplays.com? A saxophone silhouette? Maybe musical note? Or the word sax? These are some great logo design ideas but does your client want it?

Sometimes clients have outlandish requests that you totally disagree with. Other times, they may not like your design ideas even if they seem the well thought of. As always, it is best to talk with your client and discuss the project to know what their vision is for their business.

Clients are also in the better position to give you suggestions on logo ideas that is appropriate to the nature and culture of the business. It is best to collaborate with them to come up with the best logo.

Last and most importantly, the logo should be simple enough but powerful for easy recognition. Take inspiration from the logos of some large companies like Samsung, Apple, McDonalds, etc.

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5 Simple Hacks When You’re Suffering from Creative Block

Post on 12 August, 2016

By Jamie Reid

It’s every artist’s dream to be more creative. Whether you’re into web design, architecture, interior design, visual arts or any other art forms, being innovative and creative are essential traits.

Unfortunately, there are times when you can’t seem to think of any design idea, no matter how hard you try – the dreaded creative block.

I’ve experienced this quite a number of times. I was in the middle of a website design project for a professional drummer when suddenly my train of thought got lost somewhere. The website was about his collection of the latest electric drums, like those found at BarkingDrum.com. I tried hard to get back to focus and concentrate but my attempts were futile. It took me a day before I got back to my usual working mode.

Having been used to this experience, I have come up with this simple hacks that I find helpful in managing creative block.

  1. Get off the computer.

We spend hours in front of the computer and confined in our workplace. When the block cripples your work, your brain tells you to get a break. Get off your working table, go out of your office, do some stretching and breathe.

  1. Tap on other design inspiration.

Appreciate the world and see how it overflows with design inspiration. You can also find other fresh design ideas from architecture, printed publications, billboards, clothing, photography and many others around you.

  1. Draw or scribble with a pencil.

Tap on your creative instinct by going back to basic – pencil and paper. By scribbling or drawing with your hands, you can stimulate your brain’s instinctive creativity.

As early as our toddler years, we’ve been trained to write and draw on blank paper and this instinct remains in our subconscious mind. You can get this subconscious mind work for your advantage when you’re facing creative block.

  1. Get some “me” time.

Usually, creative block is just a symptom of a larger issue – burnout. If you’ve been working on too many projects, you should get some free time for yourself.

I’ve found this technique very helpful when I had mental block while working on the electronic drum set website I was mentioning a while ago. I took a “me” day and went to see a movie, eat at my favorite resto and did shopping too. It must have re-energized me and stopped me from spiraling to burnout.

  1. Work somewhere else.

If it’s possible to take your projects with you in some other places, it would be much better. Perhaps, bring your laptop at the park or sketch on the train or may at the beach.

If this isn’t possible, you can relocate your office or rearrange your workspace or add new details around you, or (if you have time) re-paint your office with some bright colors. Sometimes changing your environment is enough to give you a clearer brighter mind.

So, there you have it – my simple tips for managing creative block. How about you? How do you fight this recurrent problem?

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Why You’re Not A Successful Graphic Designer (And How You Can Change for Good)

Post on 11 August, 2016

By Jamie Reid

Good and bad habits are what set ultra-successful graphic designers from those who are not. There are actually a lot of impressively gifted and very promising graphic artists whom I feel are not fully realizing their potentials.

For many of these graphic artists, it is only their traits or habits that hold them from being successful. Truly, habits can make or break us.

If you really want to succeed in the web design industry, I propose that you start looking into your own habits. What follows are five of the most common habits that make many graphic designers, sore losers.

  1. Being know-it-all’s

You may have completed a comprehensive design course from the most prestigious design schools but that doesn’t excuse you from learning. You have to constantly learn to further hone your craft and these lessons are what you need in order to succeed.

I admit, I was once a know-it-all-expert-graphic-artist. I remember one of my first projects – a brochure about the latest rifles, much like those on this site. Feeling proud and all-knowing, I ditched a nice suggestion from a colleague, thinking it was too outdated and common. Much to my chagrin, the client returned the design with exactly the same feedback of my colleague. I could’ve saved time had I only listened to him.

Here’s good news: expert graphic designers are just a click away. You can find numerous design blogs and tutorials in the internet.

  1. Being a loner.

Because of the nature of our craft, a lot of fellow graphic artists become loners. While being alone help you stay focused and concentrated, it would be benefit you more if you surround yourself with the company of those who knows the industry well enough.

Pure talent is never enough to propel you towards the top. You need others help. Broaden your horizon and beef up your design toolbox by networking with other similarly artistic people. Stay connected by joining forums or local clubs. You can also try working in shared offices. As an added reward, you get to meet new people and even build meaningful relationships.

  1. Settling for what’s convenient.

It’s very tempting to just settle for what’s easy and convenient. Copying, imitating or blindly following the trends are a no-no if you want to be a successful graphic artist. Although taking these shortcuts can allow you to work on more projects and more income, it can also reduce the quality of your work and in the long run negatively impact your reputation.

In contrasts, you should hone your creativity, innovation, and uniqueness to stay on the top of this competition. When given a project consider it as a personal task so that you are giving your all.

Going back to the air rifle brochure project I mentioned above, the client was eventually satisfied with the output after I did several revisions. I actually did hours of extra work to perfect that brochure. And quite a pleasant surprise, he entrusted me the design aspect of the air rifle review site that he was setting up. I was so happy and really felt rewarded.

  1. Not reviewing your work.

Never forget to review your work multiple times before finalizing it and submitting to your client.

Follow this rule: If you’re personally NOT satisfied with your output, no matter how minor the issue is, don’t submit it. The best designers spend hours even days reviewing, critiquing and revising their projects. You have to be a perfectionist – if possible – if you want to be ultra-successful.

  1. Procrastinating.

I guess everyone is guilty of this but you have to manage this negative habit as it can creep on your performance. Once it has crept into your system, procrastination is very difficult to eradicate. So even before it settles in, give it a halt.

You can easily get tempted to procrastinate especially when you have lots of projects at hand. Avoid this perennial problem by making work schedule. Also, it would help to have fixed deadlines for each project.

If you have any of the habits listed above, you only have two options: change your habits or change your career! You choose.

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5 Hottest Digital Design Trends You Should Try Next

Post on 10 August, 2016

By Jamie Reid

Just like fashion trends, digital design styles, techniques and elements change quickly. What may be considered as hip last month won’t be hot this week. This makes it very important for digital artists and designers to always stay abreast with what’s new.

Although there are some design styles that always seem relevant, and you can get away repeating them in one or two projects, they aren’t as effective as the trending styles. And, quite obviously, clients are looking for designers who are effective at what they do.

I know how incorporating modern design trends can give life to a website. I’ve experienced it firsthand in one of my most challenging projects lately. It was a website for a digital piano company – plain, ordinary and unattractive. Just like many other typical websites, it had a depressing, gloomy feel. It features digital pianos like those at DigitalPianoJudge.com. While it’s easy to find design inspiration for this project, choosing one that best fits it not that easy. Good thing I wasn’t wrong with choosing the best trend! The client was very happy at the leash of new life to his website.

Here let me share with you five of the hottest digital design trends today.

  1. Minimalist and flat

You can see flat and minimalist websites dominating major website design awards. And judging by the reception of users, this simplistic yet strong design movement is here to stay. Aside from looking fresh and uncluttered, minimalism is compatible with other web trends such as responsive web design. These websites maximize the use of long shadows, simple typography, ghost buttons, and vibrant color schemes. Be sure to consider it as a design theme for your future projects.

  1. Geometry

Make your next design project effective by using trending geometric shapes. Layered geometries look very modern and are perfect for designing websites. For the digital piano website I worked on, I’ve found geo-themed designs, especially squares and cubes, perfect. The colorful shapes blended well with images of the popular digital pianos.

  1. Bold, dramatic typography

Typography is a major part of digital design. For your next projects, make sure to use bold, attractive typography. Expect to see more playful sans-serif text fonts, letter stacking and bold statement. With the current higher resolution screens, there is a possibility for the Serif to make a comeback. Handwritten fonts and drop caps are also very trendy.

  1. Vintage

It may sound counter-intuitive but vintage and retro themes are currently a hot item in web design. You can try experimenting with pixel art, retro fonts, bright colors and vintage elements. But as with other design themes, make sure the retro style goes along well with your project’s overall theme.

  1. Vibrant, lively colors

With regards to color theme, we see vibrant, bright colors to be very relevant. You can try checking the daily trending sites featured in Awwwards.com. Some of the top sites have lively colors. Be sure to include neons, bright pastels, heavily saturated and richer colors in your design toolkit.

Final thoughts

Let me wrap this up with three important points. First, don’t just follow the design trends because they’re in. Second, be sure that the design suits the entire project. Lastly, make sure the design helps your website be more responsive and user-friendly.

There you have it, five of the hottest design trends today that will surely beef up your design arsenal!

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