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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18
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
2k 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
7answers
6k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
936 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. ...
12
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
3k 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, ...
10
votes
2answers
472 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
778 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
1answer
4k 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. ...
8
votes
3answers
173 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
3answers
285 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
226 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
5answers
3k 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
189 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
182 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
3answers
611 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
359 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
2answers
102 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
656 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
5k 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
814 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
2answers
173 views

How to solve the tragic fate illustrated in the article: How a web design goes straight to hell?

This is the article: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell Some of the solutions I thought: Quitting web design and starting an own online business. Only accepting jobs offered by professional ...
6
votes
3answers
427 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
3answers
302 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, ...
5
votes
4answers
351 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
4answers
122 views

How can I organize Adobe Illustrator Workspace?

I am trying to find some common place considering Illustrator Workspace arrangement. Frequently I have a mess on my working space, however I cannot find some useful solution apart of pressing F and ...
5
votes
2answers
565 views

Easy way to create repeating custom radial gradient?

I want to create a simple repeating gradient for a Gradient Overlay effect in Photoshop. I had to manually create this: Is there an easier way to make a repeating pattern by designing a small one ...
5
votes
2answers
124 views

What factors make a campaign go viral?

I've been tasked with designing a viral campaign with limited budget. I've not worked on such things before, so I don't really have any idea on how to handle this task. What exactly makes a campaign ...
5
votes
2answers
107 views

How to scroll in the layer menu while grabbing a layer?

My layer list is very big and sometimes when I duplicate a layer, I need to move it far away but I have to bring it near the edge to activate the slow autoscroll. It would be far more convenient if I ...
5
votes
1answer
181 views

How can I create multiple image sizes at the same time?

I program Android apps, and one of the requirements is that there are images of multiple sizes generated for different sized devices. I might create a 48x48, 64x64, 96x96, 128x128, and 144x144 image ...
5
votes
3answers
79 views

How to guide the workflow in a collaboration? How to not kill the other’s motivation?

While working together, how can I discuss my ideas and objections without killing the other person’s motivation? I want to do a design project with a friend, for study purposes, but I experienced ...
5
votes
1answer
177 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
474 views

iOS, Android, etc., tablet devices in a design workflow?

I'm going to have to spring for one or more tablets (iPad, Tab, whatever) for testing ePubs, digital magazine ads, site rendering, etc. Because I don't have the consumer nature and also because I'd ...
4
votes
5answers
167 views

What is the best way to design for a group where multiple people have equal input?

I am building a website for a student organization. Although I'm a novice at graphic design, I can do basic sites (bootstrap is a lifesaver) and am moreso of a pro when it comes to development. The ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I keep file sizes down when editing PDFs?

I have a set of white label PDF forms that I need to brand for our company. The initial document is 6 pages, 316KB, and already has a full set of fillable fields. In a perfect world, I just open up ...
4
votes
3answers
8k views

How to set different color to guides(Ai,Ps,Id,Fw)?

I've been working on this file with a lot of guides(in Illustrator) and at some Point I was wondering is there a way to give different color to guides ? Like the gutter guides to be black, the main ...
4
votes
3answers
684 views

Vectors: How do you deal with background 'spill' on overlapping edges?

When covering one vector shape with another; if the edges overlap, the background shape's color is used as a (distasteful looking) pseudo-anti-alias effect on the foreground shape's edge, instead of ...
4
votes
4answers
622 views

Is there a gesture-like exercise for drawing faces?

Many people told me doing gestures is great as a learning tool, gives you the pencil mileage, feeling for shape, form and proportion, and so on. I started doing them, basing my tries on this, this ...
4
votes
2answers
210 views

Can more than one designers work together?

I've been wondering if it really works successfully to have one graphic design made by two or more designers! I tried few times, but I end up with a design that is not good enough! Even though we are ...
4
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
380 views

Solutions for a comic production workflow?

I am looking for suggestions on a convenient solution for the following workflow. Scan a hand-drawn panel Fix and retouch drawing errors (using a small set of simple brushes) Separate elements ...
4
votes
3answers
418 views

Mobile First and RWD workflow and how to interact with client

Our agency's workflow for creating a website normally consists of: discuss content-design with client we create wireframes (with optional, depending on client, approval) we create one or more pixel ...
4
votes
2answers
426 views

Delivering a graphic design to a customer

I work as a photographer but recently I've been working on stretching my skills and took on a project to create a graphic design for a non-profit. The designs are complete and the organization was ...
3
votes
5answers
328 views

How to go ahead in web design?

I am having a hard time learning web design. I read several books and I know a bit of how to do things. I also like to study with firebug how the "big guys" made their web sites. But when I try to ...
3
votes
3answers
397 views

Learning WordPress for designers does a framework help?

I ask this question because it is in relation to Scott's thread here. I understand we have a WordPress stack exchange but I wanted to know before I dive into WordPress how designers have approached ...
3
votes
4answers
108 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) ...
3
votes
4answers
751 views

Should I store work files on my local drive or an external one?

When I worked in small design studios, I was always trained to keep my work files on an external hard drive, and never store them on the computer hard drive. One of my design friends asked why I ...