brain cells working…

June 13 | 2012

designers are often seen as some kind of alien-like species, dressed in dark wearing fancy glasses and carrying their shiny MacBooks whenever they can. They always keep drawing some weird stuff for what they also carry a sketchbook everywhere they go. Their favorite food is sushi while a mix of Starbuck’s coffee and cocktails run through their veins. A tube of styling gel is their swiss army knife for any emergency situation.

but apart from that, what are designers really like? How do they think? Are they born with creativity? I can’t speak for anyone but myself. Some designers will be able to identify with me, some won’t. There’s a huge diversity among designers, from arrogant self-centered douche bags to innovative thinking creativity geniuses, plus everything else in-between.

the designing process

a good design doesn’t come out of the blue, not out of dreams… well, it does sometimes, but that won’t happen too often. Usually, the working process can be pretty much compared to the scientist’s. It’s like finding the best theory for a hypothesis:

In the beginning however, there are those three questions in the following order: What is the project/client about? Who is the audience? What tools should be chosen to reach the target? To find answers to these questions, a lot of research has to be done, if one is not familiar within the project’s area, even more so. The more information is found, the better.

After absorbing and processing all the newly gathered facts, it’s time to let it settle and think of first images or words that come to mind. Everybody has their own way of doing this, some sketch, some go for a walk, others just lay down and let the thoughts go. Slowly but surly the first rough outlines appear and lead the project in certain direction(s).

Next, all the small visual ideas have to be blend into a big one. This happens with adding things together, tearing them apart , rebuilding, reusing and discarding. It’s the time where one is spending a few more hours of their lifetime pushing some pixels. As the shapes now become much more clear and it’s good to move over to the next step.

Now, it’s time for some precision work. All elements are going to be set in the right context and environment, such as color management, pre-press, image manipulation and lots of other things to get the baby ready to roll.

On a side note, when working with real clients, constant updates and mutual communication for feedback and reflection purposes is really crucial. This is not as easy as it seems, both sides must be always aware that things can change and take a different path than previously planned. Both must be open to those changes, because only that will ensure the best results, and that’s what matters at the end of the day.

design as a way of life

unlike many other jobs, design isn’t something you just leave at your office while heading home. It is something that you eat, breathe drink. The brain is constantly perceiving and processing all aspects and inputs of life in order to use it for some idea for the next project. It’s impossible to stop and in a designer’s case, it would be deadly. because this input is absolutely necessary for the idea-finding process and its creation. That being said, being a designer is pretty much of a 24/7 job.

and what is good design?

many people (even designers themselves) mistakenly think that personal taste is one of the key roles. Well, if it was, things might be a bit easier, since everyone’s taste is different and there would be no need to even bother about the given audience’s expectations and desires. The hard part is to find a way to transfer a message through the visualized idea making sure it’s acknowledged, understood and identified with. There’s no need to re-invent the wheel, but if the visualization brings familiar aspects in a newly designed context, it is more likely to succeed. Moral of the story, good design doesn’t only look good, it looks good and works.

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