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31

It seems you and your client use different definitions of the word "original". You seem to mean it in the sense that you created the emoticons from scratch without copying anyone else. Your client seem to mean it in the sense that they look too much like other emoticons already out there. Compare this to much of pop-music. Most songs are original in the ...


26

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 they'...


18

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, ...


17

Universal/Cross-media useage Every logo has to work in black/white only. A logo needs often to be "cut". Logos attached to t-shirts, caps, cars & signs, so you need clean outlines for foil cutting. Which means: Keep it simple and your lines clean. No one can cut the lines you see in the pathview below. Your logo has to work even on low resolution ...


14

Ask yourself these questions: How many UI layouts/options can you explore in 30 minutes by coding? How many can you explore by sketching? How often do you get a UI design exactly right on the very first try? If not very often, how quick/easy is it to change a sketch versus a coded mockup? Can you instantly identify a color just by looking at its hex/rgb ...


12

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 ...


12

I've found when I don't have a clear winner its because of a few reasons: I didn't set up inspiration boards. Contrary to what most people say its GOOD to have reference, not always but most of the time. Being inspired and stealing are completely different things. I didn't set up clearly defined needs for design. Who is the audience? What are some designs ...


11

In design, this is often viewed as unnecessary ornamentation. Is it necessary? No? Then it's unnecessary. Additional elements should only be added with a purpose. To draw the viewers attention, to make them feel a certain way, to create a composition that makes the information more easily readable, etc. and should never be an end in itself.


10

While I generally side with you that original work implies that you performed the work from scratch, I must ask a few questions: Did the client approach you about this or did you pitch it to the client? If you are the one that pitched the idea then the client trusted you to truly wow them since they are likely paying a premium for these original ...


8

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 ...


8

Specially if you work on your own and you haven't done that many logos, the process can be quite straightforward: One or two main ideas, some alternative executions, and a final agreement. Maybe you are happy with the result, maybe it doesn't really seem to mean that much. When I came across these examples about a year ago (had to regoogle it), it ...


8

The secret is: Your brain lies. If you were to draw what your brain says it would be wrong in so many ways that it would hurt. Your brain can get an awful idea thats missing 90% of everything cool and it could still seem perfect. You can't draw it because its not real, its just an illusion that stops you from second guessing yourself. If there would be no ...


7

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 ...


7

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 ...


7

Yes, It is totally legitimate. It's usually the second question I ask after whats the project about. "What kind of budget are we dealing with?" This can give you a general idea if it falls in your realm and worth your time. Generally over email or phone. I usually prefer phone a call, you can hear about the project, budget and get a feel for the ...


7

First off: I can only speak for print and general cases, for I have zilch experience with video. Bear with me. I don't think there's hard and fast rules to determine the 'right' amount of fluff. Left-brainers will hate me, but I guess it's one of those things that just has to 'feel' right without being quantifiable. Moreover, there's other factors at work, ...


6

One of the best places that I use to get creative is Stumbleupon. Between that and getting to the gym early in the morning, I can usually break out of a creative block. Creativity is all about discipline, but those two things help me a lot.


6

I am not a product designer, nor do I play one on social media but ... Do not circulate your designs without an NDA! You need to entice your prospective clients/manufacturers to meet with you, sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), then present the idea. In a perfect world, you'd also patent your design. But that's not a cheap process and I suspect you ...


5

I'd vote for "drawing" first. In GUI, proper layout/presentation is the key and it calls for visual means to be designed. Designing GUI visually lets you rapidly change your design without having to "imagine" each change, "translate it to code" and finally test it. The other way is also possible, but it's rarely better (e.g. project is extremely small, like ...


5

To be perfectly frank, the best answer is "Whatever works for you." or "Whatever the project calls for." A great deal of my workflow is determined by the project itself. For example, if creating a basic cartoon or comic piece of artwork, I often start with pen and paper and then scan, Image Trace, and clean up in Illustrator. However, there are also times ...


5

Related: http://freelancing.stackexchange.com/questions/1304/whose-responsibility-is-to-give-budget-for-job-freelancer-or-client/1317#1317 I never ask for budget. I have my pricing. I price what is inline with my pricing. Then the client can mention their budget if they want to. To me "What's your budget" has 2 outcomes: Asks you to lower pricing to ...


5

The missing ingredient in what you're asking is testing. When all's said and done, if your client is in business to sell something, and your job is to help them succeed (which it is), you have to consult your audience to know what's going to work. You started with some survey data to guide the development process. Now you need to test. A logo, a slogan, an ...


5

Things that help designers focus on what's important to a design: Identify the key message - this is what people viewing the design should intuitively grasp, this is the voice or message of the design. Everything in the design should help reinforce the message. This is a careful balancing act as being too blatant can be off-putting and not everything in a ...


5

I think it's better to show 3 different concepts but that also depend on your contract and how much time you want to spend on this. With design, I like to say "everything is possible it's just more expensive." So it depends on the budget of the logo, how fast you create and in how much time it needs to be done. If you work as an in-house designer for a ...


4

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 ...


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

For websites, I usually start in Balsamiq, Fireworks, or Photoshop. For logos or non-web-related graphics, I usually start on paper.


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. Much ...


4

“Half of art is knowing when to stop.” - Arthur William Radford I always remind myself that I see everything 50,000 times more than anyone else ever will. It's very, very important to have fresh eyes on things regularly. I try and work on a variety of projects which entail different designs entirely. This way, if I feel one design may not be up to par, ...


4

Morning @MDMoore! First off I'd like to apologize knowing first hand it is a bear to have multiple people's input on a design process. Your first idea, have one primary contact is a great idea and I would definitely go this route but knowing first hand when multiple people have a say it can still back fire down the road. That said I would require one ...



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