Three Tips on How to Become a Better Graphic Designer

A good graphic designer is able to create great designs long after the latest design fads have passed. It is true that becoming good at web designing takes years of experience.

However, it is also rooted in learning the fundamentals well. Time has proven that the basics work and they should always be the most important tools that any designers should have.

Here are some basic skills that help one become a good graphic designer.

1. Subtlety

– each era will have its own sense of style. Amateurs will always exploit the new trends and use it on every occasion possible. But this makes designs look amateurish and tacky. Great designers, on the other hand, learn the new styles and keep its use to a minimum.

2. Simplicity

– this is somehow connected with the first skill. Simplicity is not making things bare and dull, but it is making things work. A simple design will always have its timeless appeal and it will always help new visitors of websites navigate the site easily.

3. Willingness to Learn

– another good thing about great designers is that they never cease to learn. For them, there is something new to pick up everyday. The willingness to learn helps designers stay fresh and relevant even styles and tastes have changed.

The things listed above seem easy enough to follow. However, things are different in the real world. There will always be the temptation to design like the rest. But as always, great designers will always find ways to stand out.

The Art of the Car

Can vehicles be considered art? Watched an episode of “Top Gear” the other night and the hosts entertained the topic, going so far as to set up their own exhibition of what they considered art at a local museum. Of course, it was Top Gear so it was all a bit cheeky, and they caused me to think about it. Are cars art? Do auto manufacturers consider the “looks” of a model in the design phase? The Bugatti Veyron, yes…the Pontiac Vibe, no. Is it subjective? Perhaps. What do you think?

Meridian Food Bank

Created a new look for Meridian Food Bank recently and will be utilizing it on their new website as well. The client stressed that it was important to keep the “bowl theme”, because that was a strong memory for he and his wife from their missionary work. “Too many empty bowls.” he said, during our initial meeting. New look is already being utilized in various fund raising projects for this non-profit. If you feel obliged, you can still donate via the current website by clicking here.

Website tip #1.

This should be a no-brainer, own your domain name! We’ve recently been involved with projects with clients who let other designers or webhost providers register their domain name “as a courtesy to them”. Great – what happens when you want to switch providers or the designer who used to do your work goes out of business, leaves town, or just won’t return your call? You let someone else have control of your intellectual property and now you are going to have a hard time getting it back.

On one of our projects the client had to secure a new domain name – which sucks for them because all of their collateral material, (cards, letterhead, brochures, etc.) were branded with the old domain name. Luckily the site is down because the server is gone but what if it wasn’t? You would have your customers going to your old site, with outdated info and not much you could do about it.

So the key lesson here is register your own domain name – you own it, you control it. If you need to change webhost providers it’s a simple case of updating the nameservers. It doesn’t take a lot of time to register a domain, the expense is relatively small (especially if you register for multiple years) and it might save you a big headache down the road. Any questions feel free to contact us!

Well, it was funny the first 299 times…

My apologies (I’m sorry!) to all Tweeters out there, especially my followers, for my repetitive Nigerian bank scam tweet. I’m sure it was funny the first few hundred times you saw it. :-0 See, I was trying out a tweeting software to schedule tweets and added that one. Instead of selecting “Publish Once”, I somehow selected “Publish Every 15 Minutes”. Yikes! Wasn’t even aware of it until my brother sent me a “Dude, you are SO annoying!” email. Feel like a newb, I suck – I know – but hey, no excuses. I screwed up and I’m fessing up – and asking for your forgiveness.

I’d like to thank those of you (especially tacullum) who had my back and replied that I was going for a scam. Now I know why he kept sending that to me, cause he kept seeing my freakin’ tweet every 15 minutes! Dude is cool though, cause he cared enough to tweet and that’s why I love Twitter – you get to meet nice people.

Oh, and if you don’t know what the Nigerian Bank scam is, check your junk mail or click here. And for heaven’s sake, don’t you dare fall for the scam. Tweep out.

Ass-what?

Okay, I must admit that I rarely pay attention to the drugs being marketed on television. The supposed cure for an ailment usually comes with a litany of side effects, many that seem worse than the original “problem”. I would love to design a logo and help craft a name for some of these drugs, as the manufacturers seem to shell out boatloads of money on such projects. I would have loved to have been in the meeting for this product:

aciphex

See, I was half-watching TV when the ad for this product came on and I heard “..blah, blah, blah, ass effects.” Excuse me? Ass-what?

For the treatment of acid reflux disease, Aciphex (yes, it’s pronounced “ass-effex” but sounds like “ass-effects” to me), brings to mind a whole buffet of side effects. None too pretty either. For those that suffer from this, I sympathize – I really do. It’s still funny though.