A wise college professor once told me that as a designer you have to provide reasoning behind every design choice you make. Every color, every placement, every font, etc…Thank You Steve Quinn. That was probably the best advice I was given in college. I apply that mantra every single day in my projects. Not only does it get you to think of how and why you are making the decisions you are, but it will become damn handy when you have to explain to others why you made the choices you did.
For example,there is a reason that you choose Helvetia over Comic Sans. Comic sans is a kiddy looking font that represents lack of knowledge or immaturity. Helvetica is seen as innovative, clean, high-end and green type of font. Helvetica is a font I would use for a hotel or high-end department store. I wouldn’t use Comic Sans if I was designing an advertisement for Macy’s.
It helps to look at design as a means of solving a creative problem. You as a designer have to get an idea from point A to point B within a given set of parameters. You have to make X + X + X = Y. I recall a project in college where we had to take Ad copy and design it in a graphically interesting way. We had to produce two different compositions by the end of an hour using only text and a minimal color palette. In addition, each ad had to be 8in x 8in in size. Needless to say that it put on a little pressure. It was testing our abilities to make creative decisions on the fly.
In the real world you don’t always have a week to work on a project. Sometimes you only get an hour. That is why the more you train your brain to make smart design decisions, the faster and better you will get. Training my brain to work faster and smarter visually has enabled me to take three-hour projects and turn them into one hour projects. It’s all about quick and intelligent decision-making. Now try challenging yourself to come up with a reason behind every decision you have made for the design you are currently working on.
Sketch Forward my friends!