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How A Design is Born
Besides making things look pretty, what a designer does is solve communication problems visually. For example, they will choose an image to convey or reinforce a message; or they will fit things on the page so the message is delivered in an organized, understandable manner – all while keeping within the overall brand. Various media and size requirements present their own communication problems to solve in order to provide a seamless user experience – whatever it may be.
They always say the hardest part of design is staring at a blank sheet of paper. Is there a right or wrong way to go about designing? Everyone is different, so it goes without saying that all designers have their own process. There is, however, a method to everyone’s madness.
Planning is the first step to any design
The planning stage is different for every job, but it’s the most important. It is the foundation of what the design will be about. Some will require that content be crafted. In this case the designer will be fully in charge of the message and how it will be delivered. Others will have content already. Either way, the planning will begin with content.
After you have the content, some people prefer sketches and thumbnails; some lay out all the pieces in front of them and piece it together like a puzzle; and others just think really hard. There is no right or wrong way to do this, but the planning is necessary to make sure the flow of information reaches the user in an organized fashion.
The fun part is the execution
Here’s where artist meets planner to really showcase a designer’s talent and experience. The design is built on the foundation of the plan and brought to life with color, imagery, and negative and positive space. Elements are repeated to reinforce the brand and deliver the communication in a creative and compelling way. If the plan is good, dressing it up will only enhance the design.
Refine your Design
The final stage in any design, refinement serves to work out any kinks. Whether by a second set of eyes for a fresh perspective, or taking a step back and looking at the design with fresh eyes. Double checking all variables not thought of. Sometimes full mock-ups are needed to really see any potential issues.
There is a lot of thought and planning that goes into any design, no matter how small. So if anyone ever accuses you of just making things pretty, remember that you are a problem solver. It’s only pretty because you’ve done your job well.
Oct 01, 2014
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