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17

Here's how I tackle layout and workflow concepts. Do something. Anything. And do that thing knowing that it doesn't have to be good. It just has to exist. It's not an end, it's a beginning. It's just a way to stop you from staring at a blank page. Then do an alternative design. Quickly. Don't think about it too much. Then another. Don't despair if ...


11

I happen to have one particular image you may find useful. I didn't create this just happen to have found it and thought it was worth adding to my scrapbook of ideas. Its simple, eloquent, and even humorous while showing 3 distinct products that are, at least in theory, for 3 distinct demographics.


10

To add a bit of science, here three things that are counter-intuitive but important to know about vision. They explain why viewers navigate visuals by drifting from a focal point, following any natural flow - and why it feels so much more jarring when there isn't a natural flow to follow. Your vision outside of the very centre of what you're focussing on ...


9

Simple answer: Curiosity. Some detail; It depends on the composition. @Yisela had some great examples of focal point (and balance) here, I'm going to use one to explain my thoughts on the eye movement. So example: Obviously you focus on the the people in the center immediately. But take a second to notice where you naturally looked next. For me, it ...


9

You're not alone in this problem - supermarkets and department stores also often need to advertise different products to different audiences in the same space. AFAIK, there are two basic approaches. Choose the first if your brand identity suits all three products, and the second if each product requires a different personality and tone. One brand, ...


8

A lot of stuff that's "fairly well agreed" is wrong, or at least misleading. This is one of them. Text can be made attractive and inviting, or not, information can be easy to find, or not, according to how well the page is designed (or not!). People will read if they are interested and you don't actively drive them away with dense, hard to follow text. A ...


8

Well since you all are leaving the question open here's my genuine answer: When I run out of ideas I like to do things like booze, sex, go to the beach, read, write, paint, sculpt, dance, travel. My mind has never been expanded less then when trying to force expansion while stuck. //Edit Wanted to clarify the booze - I mean among friends at a bar, lounge, ...


7

The client actually gave you a decent direction to start, despite the vague wording. You have three categories for photo research, and the emphasis is on "equipment." So find a hundred images of machinery and people working on machines which look advanced, complicated, and professional — that is, nothing Mike Rowe would be doing on Dirty Jobs — ...


7

5 simple steps for producing ideas James Young's A Technique for Producing Ideas outlines a deceptively simple system that requires great discipline to complete. I followed pieces of his approach instinctively before discovering it but keeping Young's five steps in mind has helped me expand my output. Gather raw materials: Flood your brain with the ...


7

I'd start by looking into the business decisions for having both MyCompanyLLC and MyCompanyCo. It seems to be more of an accounting/legal distinction rather than any purposeful branding/marketing decision. At that point, you need to decide if the objective should be to better distinguish between the two companies, or if in the eyes of the customer (be it ...


7

The problem you actually have isn't the one you think you have, but it's one that every designer faces often: the clients actually have no idea what they're looking for, so they have given you a list of vague concepts instead of a clear design brief. Your job at this point is not to start trying to design something. It is to work with the client as long as ...


7

Look and feel is a brand thing Your visual decisions should not only be based on information architecture but an essence, a personality that's unique the brand in question. Your first steps should have nothing to do with execution. No type, colors, images, graphics. That will come later as a logical extension of the brand. Start with Demographics ...


7

Interesting and very big question. Research with eye-tracking shows that people "take in" a visual object differently. If you have a black-and-white image with one red dot, many people will have great problems afterwards to tell you what else but the red dot was there. However, placing another red dot somewhere will pull the gaze towards that too, and most ...


6

Welcome to GD.SE, and thank you for a great question. It's one that challenges designers often enough that I'm guessing there will be plenty of answers. Based on what you say, I think the key is, "I'm confused because they are." The way to reduce any confusion, in design or anywhere else, is to pick ONE item out of the morass and start with that. It almost ...


6

I've used a method where the boxes are actually pieces of post-it notes. Today I use cellphone sized ones because they are usually big enough. You can cut them in shape put text on them. But the best function is that you can move them about. Even better your client can move them about. The thing is the mockup stage can not look too finished. People who are ...


5

My feeling is that if the company name is genuinely the same as the parent name with "Co" rather than "LLC," you should do a variation on the LLC branding. Not an exact pickup, but let's say if the LLC's corporate colors are burgundy and black and the typeface is Bodoni, the Co's logo should use a gray and a pale red (not a pink, but a tint of the burgundy) ...


5

I would recommend something like: yEd, used to use this a lot, today not so much. Probably best for simple-moderately complex stuff. Good support for different formats. Gephi, for beautiful big force directed graphs. Tulip, havent used more than once seemed ok graphwiz, I use this all the time and then do final touches in illutrator. It probably produced ...


4

Since you're looking for affordability I would suggest using Inkscape. I'm not sure if you're on Linux that you're using Gimp but this would be a good option since you're flyer is presumeably going to be printed and need vectors since you have multiple sizes. Find some stock photos which can be located for free at http://www.sxc.hu or better yet if you have ...


4

Transfer the problem to something completely different. For example, if you are stuck with a webdesign, sketch what the design with similar brief could look like were it a building, a dress, a wallpaper, a airplane, ... -- The idea here being that you can forget about the actual limitations of your media and technical requirements and think about the ...


4

What would I go over? Selection of font for a brand? Colour palette? Yes. Typography color spacing positioning movement Line Shape Mass texture Balance Proximity Consistency Contrast Once all of that is considered, you then must consider the technical aspects of output. Output aspects can vary. Essentially, you are asking how to be a designer. ...


3

The most helpful (and most entertaining) answer to this problem I've ever seen is John Cleese's lecture on creativity: http://vimeo.com/18913413 He gives many practical suggestions, backed up with research and anecdotes that explain why they're helpful.


3

Get out of your current headspace. Go express some creativity on your own terms for a bit. Doodle a cartoon, paint something etc. Play some videogames or whatever. Just get your mind wrapped around something thats interesting just for the sake of being interesting and not work related for a little bit. Once you've purged the work thoughts from your head, you ...


3

A good place to look for fresh approaches is find other contexts that have the same problem. One is courses for established professionals: these will fail unless the group of experienced people on the course step out of their fixed ways of working and embrace new approaches. Tricks that work which I've seen used well, which could be used to loosen up an ...


3

The standard design process applies: Research Think about your target audience and examine professional designs for other programming competitions, programming events, programming organizations. Make note of common themes/motifs and aesthetics. Copying has a very negative connotation, but it's also the way we learn and an effective shortcut. If you're not ...


3

Well from a graphic design perspective: A picture is worth a thousand words. Not that you should litter your site with images, but if a logo, photo or graphic can more concisely convey what you want — and hopefully increase aethetic appeal — then use one! And in general: Practice. You get good at something, including concise writing, by ...


3

Don't get too hung up on being literal with the slogan. Take a look at this list of company slogans. Very few, if any, have any connection with the logo. Plus slogans can change and, hopefully, the logo is a more permanent feature. I would make this case to the client. Instead the logo should encapsulate the association itself. Libraries, books, media, ...


3

Obviously it all depends on what these business goals are... but, there are a few principles in designing one-page call to action sites that are pretty universal and established through evidence. Since they have a clear goal, these types of sites are comparatively easy to test, particularly, with iterative A/B testing. (half users see one design, half see ...


2

"Fast forward" "rewind" and "pause" have symbols associated with them which are very deeply embedded in our culture. The next step is how to apply them to something which one might use for unwinding. I can think of several things one might associate with unwinding in an adult context. Once you figure out what that might be, you nearly done.


2

Since you mention you don't have 'branding experience' Or you haven't done brochures before), I would begin by taking a look at what other similar companies are doing to get an idea of the public, the activities and so on. A good starting point is to see their websites, for example, and find what similarities they have: What colours do they use? How do they ...


2

You may use the principle of proximity to highlight the different relationships between pictures. For example, you may group pictures from the video footage with limited white space between images on one side, to indicate a close relationship, and add the picture of the old man on the other side, with larger white space between the old man and the group, to ...



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