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105

Stay Simple - Don't try to do anything too fancy or adventurous at first. Get the basics down first, then you can start experimenting. Don't try to emulate the Star Trek computer interface. Be Consistent - A consistent design is part of the foundation of a good design. Keep track of your margins, sizes, and placement and maintain them throughout the design. ...


35

This is a bit of an opinion-based question, but I still think there's value in it. Also somewhat belongs on Freelance.SE, but may fit here as well. To be honest, the most difficult part of freelancing is sticking to your guns during negotiations. This is compounded if you financially need the work. The best option is often to simply stick to your price ...


31

I've never run into this exact problem but if a client sends me a logo from another company I email them back asking if they have written permission to use said logo in their marketing. If they say yes then that is sufficient for me. To word it nicely I go with something along the lines of: I see you'd like Acme Co.'s logo included in your artwork, do ...


25

In my contracts I have clauses to the effect of "Client promises that all artwork provided for Designer is owned by Client, or Client has permission from the owner to use it. If Client is sued for copyright violation, Client will state that it was not Designer's fault." Whether it's effective, well, I'm not a lawyer, but this at least specifies that you're ...


22

I've always interpreted this as a more literal reference to the possession that "stealing" implies. If you've truly stolen something, then it is no longer owned by anyone else. Nor is it a copy. It's owned by you. There's the old saying that "possession is 9/10 of the law". Steal your inspiration, and own the results. I don't think anyone has truly ...


21

Edit: Since you keep pushing :) I will answer directly: Is the style, creativity, & inspiration side of interface design not equally important compared to the content, efficiency, & productivity side of interface development? is it not important to focus on additional fancy style? I have a little problem with the question, as there are ...


19

My example is not a perfect, but you can take it as guideline for your logo-training. I hope this help you. 1) Create a new text layer 2) Take a pen tool and draw two lines so together they are looking like "a" 3) Turn text layer off, we don't need it anymore 4) Take "Ellipse Tool" and draw some ellipses. Now turn brushes window on. Select all the ...


17

If you lower your prices, don't forget to lower your service. As @Scott says, rates are set for a reason. If a client asks us for a cheaper deal, we say "yes" and then we re-propose the project with some features or aspects removed. We then make the client aware that we've achieved a cheaper price by reducing features or proposing a slightly ...


17

A wireframe is about functionality. It can be a really simple sketch that demonstrates what sort of things you can do in your design. For example, a wireframe of a website will show the navigation, the main buttons, the columns, the placing of different elements. A mockup is a preview of what the website (in this case) will look like. It's a realistic ...


15

Short answer: Form follows function. It's an age-old but often forgotten design principle: how things look or are shaped should follow what they are for. Function shouldn't be twisted or squeezed to fit a form. A user interface is for use and usability, so if you're making compromises on function (usability) in the name of form (aesthetics), you've got ...


15

Einstein said "The key to originality is hiding your sources". You're right, it's a concept that's been commented on by many great artists, the concept though I think is less literal than you're reading it. I think it's about originality. The idea is that there are no truly original thoughts and thus there is no truly original creation, everyone is ...


14

Jim Krause's design basics index gave me a very good summary of the basics of composition, color and type. I wasn't a huge fan of most of his own examples, but they illustrate his points really well and he touches on a few valuable things I haven't seen mentioned much elsewhere. And perhaps most importantly, reading it made me really excited to go out and ...


13

Here are some ways you can draw attention, roughly from the least subtle to the most: Movement - While effective, this should be used sparingly because it can grow distracting and annoying. Size - If a design element is larger than everything else, it will stand out. Color - Any deviation from the background colors or other colors used throughout the ...


13

A good portfolio of work that shows creativity and commercial sensibilities will be of more benefit than a qualification. Having said that, any course that leads to a graphic design qualification will include practical work which can be used to form the basis of a portfolio. You can’t beat real-world experience though.


13

Adding to Emilie's great answer It's difficult to define what "stressful" is, because it varies from person to person (are designers more stressed than, say, surgeons?), so I'll just focus on the things that I think can make design different from other jobs. Note: Graphic Design is a HUGE field. You can work in print, in web, in motion... you can do ...


12

There's sometimes a slight overlap between web development and web design, but I don't think web developers should try to be full-time designers unless they're willing to put as much effort into it as they did learning to program. It's not something that you can just dabble in on weekends and be good at. If this is so you can learn to be your own web ...


12

I'm a programmer myself and for me the following books where very helpful for me: The Non-Designer's Design Book - Robin Williams - This books covers the basics of graphic design. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain - Betty Edwards The book for developing your drawing skills. The Humane Interface - Jef Raskin This book provokes some thoughts about user ...


11

Don't resent your client for wanting more, but educate them. The original editable files are your blueprint by which you create their design, but the design is what they buy, not the blueprint. Try a comparison, like: If you get a tailor made suit, you don't ask the tailor for the pattern and a pair of scissors afterwards, just in case you'd want to make ...


11

You say "no, sorry, I can not violate [insert your country here] Copyright Law. I'd be glad to help you license artwork legally." You should also have a clause in your contracts along the lines of "all artwork provided by the client shall be artwork the client has full rights to reproduce. Designer will not be responsible for any artwork that was provided ...


11

(BTW - nuns also made illuminated manuscripts...) Very interesting question. I have studied old manuscripts for years, and there are a few things to keep in mind; either as explanations or as interesting anomalies. I think a general history of illuminated manuscripts might also be interesting, but that would be a different question. Vellum and ...


10

As someone working in printing, one of the biggest for me is the Pantone Color Book Regardless of of how well your monitor is calibrated, it is crucial to know what your printed colors are going to look like. The discrepancies of the RGB values between Photoshop and Illustrator for Pantone Colors is bad enough as it is. I always check my formula guide ...


10

Logos would be done with paste-up: text might be created using a linotype or phototypesetting machine. I personally used a machine that had fonts on wheels approx 12" in diameter which you rotated and selected individual characters using a footswitch. This exposed the type on a strip of photopaper and at the end, you'd had a line of text which you would ...


10

Well, your contract should have stated that you are only creating a design (or print job, website, whatever) for the client, and that you explicitly are not surrendering source files. If it didn't... Then you tell the client that while it's physically possible to give them a clean PSD (IL, INDD, etc.) eventually, right now the file is a mess. Or it's ...


10

I was previously familiar with the MDN logo, but no your logo did not come to mind when I saw yours. Is it plagiarism? Yes, if you used the MDN logo for inspiration then yes I'd say that's plagiarism. But not a very serious case of it. Is it highly unethical? It depends, but probably not. A rounded rectangle with a thick black stroke isn't exactly ...


9

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 ...


9

It depends on the media that you are using, the audience and the amount of information that you have to display, and the relevance that you want to give. More a page is cluttered, and less is easy to distinguish in a text a particular word or phrase or in a graphic a specific elements. I normally make the example of newspapers and adverts in fashion ...


9

You will always take something from education (networking, friends that can later become work partners, field experience, inspiration, and so on...) if you select a good university but the amount of knowledge online makes it easy to learn enough to become a successful graphic designer if you have the required philosophy and self-control. My advice: if you ...


9

Two relevant terms: The type of flat-3D perspective is isometric view (or more accurately pseudo-isometric because it looks like it's not strictly based on 120 degrees). The style of limited-detail but accurate drawing is like instructional diagrams - in particular, it looks based on styles commonly used in in-flight safety diagrams. A lot of the ...


9

You will have to forgive my immensely crude mockup, but just trying demonstrate some ideas: Edit: since you added that this will be a hommage to your son, remember the old saying: everything looks good in a frame. This is true; and you could stylize it:


9

Do interfaces really need to “look good”? Nope. As you state, and prove, some very highly succesful websites that have horrific UIs succeed. Reddit is a great example. As is Craigslist. So no, you do not need a great looking UI to succeed. But a site better have some really amazing content to make it worth getting through a really bad UI. In other ...



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