Questions about optimising workflow for professional graphic designers. Workflow describes the process that a task undergoes, from initiation to completion. Ask anything related to the workflow of a graphic design project.

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39
votes
10answers
8k views

Is it frowned upon as a designer if you don't use “top” software?

This question crosses my mind from time to time as I am a Windows user and have often thought about going down the cheaper route by using a Linux based OS such as Ubuntu and getting free software that ...
27
votes
9answers
2k views

Methods for improving color choice and combinations?

I often struggle choosing proper color combinations. I'm self-ware enough to realize that I'm most comfortable with, and often settle on, colors which could be seen as more corporate or retro - blues, ...
25
votes
4answers
477 views

Is there an advantage to doing a full image mock-up versus diving straight into writing the HTML/CSS?

In the past, many companies and web designers had a workflow that was two or three parts, minimum -- design, markup, backend. These are generalizing and the lines may blur a bit... but I'm sure you ...
24
votes
8answers
15k views

Version Control for Designers / Alternative to Version Cue

I've just been searching around the net for version control that has some support for graphic/Photoshop files. We're currently using BitBucket which is free and unlimited when it comes to file size ...
20
votes
7answers
13k views

Learning to draw: start in the pen and paper realm or the digital space?

My question is should I start with paper to learn to draw or learn to digitally draw with Photoshop or Illustrator or any image manipulation application. I am thinking of using a book or some other ...
20
votes
1answer
4k views

Is it possible to use a fully open source workflow for print design?

Is it possible to use only open-source tools in order to produce professional level artwork? Has anyone actually done it? If not, where are the current gaps? Assume I'm producing a small multi-page ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Web-based workflow solutions for graphic designers (hosted and self-run)?

There are some common tasks in almost every graphic designer's workflow that are made immensely easy by the Internet, but are often clumsy to handle through traditional channels like E-Mail. ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Version Control for Design files

Can someone describe their workflow they use to handle multiple versions of a file ? For example, if more than one person worked on it or you explored an idea with the design then realized you have ...
14
votes
9answers
7k views

How do I speed up my design work?

I've been a designer for 6 months, having previously had a 1st class honours degree in Graphic Communication. My issue is that I am a Very good designer, but I work too slow. It's beginning to drive a ...
14
votes
2answers
23k views

What is the best way to make arrows in circular shape?

I need to make (actually re-creating) a diagram for a repeating process consisting of 5 steps. Here's how it might look with two arrows: I need to do basically the same thing with 5 arrows, ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I write requirements for a graphic designer?

A friend of mine is in need of some graphic design work. I'm trying to explain to him that his make-me-something-like-X-but-different-approach is not a very good way to communicate his needs. We tried ...
13
votes
8answers
19k views

Best way to send layouts with editable text to writers/editors who don't have design software

Here's a common design workflow problem, probably most relevant to in-house designers, but also to agencies who have a lot of non-design writing or research staff, or freelancers who work with ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Best workflow for icon design: Start big, or start small?

When designing icons that need to be delivered at several sizes, do you start at the smaller size, then scale up to the bigger sizes? Or do you start big and scale down? There's several advantages to ...
11
votes
5answers
471 views

I currently work as a UX/UI designer and my boss (a back-end developer) doesn't trust my decisions and acts as if he needs a Production Artist

I find myself in need of some career advice. I work in a small, purposefully-secluded web development department inside a larger company. Everyone else on the team is a front-end or back-end developer ...
11
votes
1answer
10k views

Endnotes in InDesign: Closest thing to a pain-free, flexible workflow?

It's an age-old complaint: up to and including CS6, InDesign supports footnotes, but not endnotes. Documents, books, reports etc aren't going to stop needing endnotes because Adobe don't support them. ...
10
votes
5answers
135k views

How to quickly and easily create a grid with Adobe Photoshop?

Suppose I need to draw a grid in Photoshop, each square being the same size, and a certain amount of pixels tall and wide, and the grid lines having a certain pixel width. Like this: Currently I ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the general process for planning and developing a new website?

I work at an agency mostly focused in software development however sometimes a microsite is accessory to one of our solutions and we need to build it. I'm trying to define a clear process for ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How to avoid the tragic fate in the Oatmeal cartoon “How a web design goes straight to hell”?

This is a famous web comic about a common experience in web design: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell It's based on the author's personal experiences and describes a typical / caricature ...
9
votes
4answers
755 views

How can a popular free site with minimal budget obtain quality UI/UX design support?

I'm the dev of a web-based music player called TheParade. I listen to music on youtube often, and wanted a better experience, so I created the app, which I've been incrementally coding up over the ...
9
votes
3answers
956 views

How can I best provide feedback to my designer

What's kosher when providing feedback to your designer? Are there best practices? If he's making a mockup of an iPhone dashboard should I tell him that I'd prefer the icons be monochromatic, or that ...
9
votes
3answers
232 views

The role of the designer in content – should he have one and how big should it be?

I'm a designer, not a marketer, and not a writer (at least not professionally). A lot of the work I do involves working with material in a field that can be above my head. Because of that, I'm content ...
8
votes
2answers
235 views

Scrap-work Methods

Should one start their scrap-work / mockups in an ordinary notebook or scrap-paper to be thrown away ? What is the recommended practice? Keep older drawings ? Throw them away ? Is it better to ...
8
votes
4answers
337 views

where to get web-design critiques and suggestions?

Where do you get you design critics for your project, particularly on web design? A friend had suggested to me a website where people critique and give suggestion on your website. But I forgot the ...
7
votes
4answers
257 views

How to troubleshoot a design that doesn't “feel” right?

I'm a new designer (sort of) and I'm wondering how you guys fix a design that just doesn't feel quite right. When you've been working on a design for a while, you can get the feeling that one of many ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

Photoshop vs. Illustrator for Icon Development

My client is requesting SVG files (saving as an SVG would require me to build the icon in Illustrator), but I have always designed icons in Photoshop (importing vector art from Illustrator, and ...
7
votes
2answers
306 views

Is there a graphic design specification system?

Is there a commonly used design specification system to present a graphic design to a customer before we start the implementation? My challenge is specifically on mailings (PDF A4, HTML sent per ...
7
votes
6answers
366 views

What is a good workflow for Presentation Design?

A client wants a presentation design that he can edit and change after, including elements such as: template frame, body copy, lists, calls-to-action, animations, custom vector graphics, mockups - you ...
7
votes
2answers
415 views

What are strategies for implementing drawing tablet into workflow?

I recently got my first tablet and am interested in tips and resources for using it. Some for example say to hide mouse and force yourself to use the Tablet instead. For those that have taken that ...
7
votes
4answers
249 views

What are some efficient design strategies when working with a constant flow of clients?

Hi I am working as the main graphic designer / printer in a sign shop. We have a constant flow of work which is non stop. The pressure fluctuates but is pretty constant. I would like to hear if ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I display sound distortion through images?

I've become very fascinated with the idea of digital destruction through a physical medium. There was PBS video on youtube How Does Glitchy Art Show Us Broken Is Beautiful? Example Pieces: Cultural ...
7
votes
4answers
123 views

How to deal with mistakes

I am a fledgling designer but I have a bit of a problem - when I give people the "final" copy, there are always mistakes that I couldn't find (blinded from over saturation in the project usually) but ...
7
votes
2answers
124 views

How to address a flaw in a client project

In a large company environment client projects are delegated to teams. That said, if your team is completing a website for a client and you happen to run across a large design and code issue but your ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Best workflow for editing massive posters/banners for print in Photoshop?

I have a very large poster that is 98" by 90" and I would like to know some good tips for making edits to the file I tried to make it a smart object and then decrease the image size, only to increase ...
7
votes
3answers
20k views

Illustrator: Quick way of removing redundant anchor points after unifying shapes?

Except for manually removing redundant anchor points that gets added when unifying two or more objects, is there a quicker operation to wipe in-between anchor points? EDIT: To complement ...
7
votes
2answers
532 views

How can I localize an InDesign file?

I'm looking for some method for automating the localization process for an InDesign document. Basically, I want to be able to take the contents of the file, translate it into a few other languages ...
7
votes
2answers
363 views

Is it possible to link shapes to a master shape, so that modifications to the master like repositioning, affect all linked shapes?

I'm using Illustrator CC, and I'd like to link some sub-shapes to a master such that modifying the master also moves the sub-shapes. Context: Octopus tentacles. I've got shapes for each tentacle ...
6
votes
6answers
8k views

How to describe/talk like a designer?

I am a front end web developer. I tend to mostly deal with code but do, from time to time, have the opportunity to create graphics. I notice the designers I work with are able to talk in great detail ...
6
votes
4answers
896 views

How to be creative in a short space of time

This question has come about as a follow on from @Scott's "How do you break out of current creative mind sets?" I work in a (smallish) company that produces all it's in house content such as email ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How to get motivated when drained

I know many work in where they enjoy but lately after spending all day at work I get home and all my thoughts and ideas for my freelance projects all day become annoying after I am drained and ...
6
votes
2answers
888 views

How much caring about design is too much? In-house graphic designer

I am working as an in-house graphic designer under the marketing team. I am not sure if the culture in my company is the norm in other companies. There are only 2 graphic designers in the print ...
6
votes
3answers
552 views

Recommendations on how to synchronize Photoshop actions, swatches, etc. across computers

Is there any convenient way to synchronize Photoshop settings like keyboard shortcuts, actions, swatches, custom layer sytles, etc.. across several computers, preferably in an automated way? So far, ...
6
votes
3answers
205 views

How do graphic designers backup all tools?

I've just encountered a situation where, for the first time since I started designing, I am switching from one desktop to another with a completely new OS (Win 8.1 instead of Win 7) and will be ...
6
votes
2answers
306 views

Efficient workflows for handing off designs to developers

I work as a UX/UI designer for my company's web sites. After I make the designs, I send the mockups to web developers, who implement them. It's a little more collaborative than that, but that's ...
6
votes
1answer
118 views

How to quickly come up with ideas? Deadlines are tight and work is plenty

Deadlines are tight (5 days) where I'm employed at and it really challenges me with coming up with designs/ideas. For example I'm given 2 different topics but have to come up with 5 different ...
6
votes
1answer
191 views

Best practice to track procedural image creation?

I often create a collection of images in Illustrator or Photoshop which require a specific sequence of manual steps in order to maintain a similar appearance across a series. Actions or scripts ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How to tell my boss his webdesign attempts are bad/hopeless?

I'm a web dev. My boss is an outdated physical media designer. We're working together on a relatively huge food delivery web system. He just keep coming with these poor and ugly layout ideas. Clearly ...
5
votes
6answers
968 views

Does using Dreamweaver help to produce better aesthetic designs than hardcoding HTML and CSS?

I have some professional web development experience, and I always hard-coded all the HTML and CSS in simple text editors. I don't think the aesthetic appearance of my websites is bad at all, but when ...
5
votes
10answers
9k views

What are some of the benefits of having a Mac vs a Windows PC in a design environment?

I work in a b2b business and everyone here is on Windows PCs. A co-worker is pushing to move the design department from Windows to Mac. I worked on a Mac about 15 years ago when I worked for an ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Am I working too slow?

I'm working as an UX designer for a startup studio that develop internet products and web services. So, i started 3 months ago, my boss's strategy is to develop some experiments and then collect ...
5
votes
5answers
214 views

Design software that allows reuse of common elements, like the DRY principal of programming

Often when I am designing for the web (be it mocks, or full spreads of websites) I have many repeating elements throughout my document. I am looking to follow the Don't Repeat Yourself (DRY) ...