To design or not to design that is the question. It still amazes me when people ask me the question “What does a graphic designer do?” Maybe the fact that the possibilities of a graphic designer are endless causes the profession to be somewhat a mystery to those around us.
I would like to encourage you to look beyond the bounds of your knowledge and think of the possibilities. I also started out knowing nothing of graphic design or what you can do with it. I was limited in my knowledge of the possibilities. Hopefully by sharing my experience it will shed some light and help you make a decision. Degree or no degree?
A logo is so much more than just a picture with the company’s name on it. It should be a picture that says 1,000 words about your company and who you are as a business. It should be an image that sticks in people’s head so that if you are a lawn care business and they look outside in their yard and see the landscaping is looking a little dull then your logo pops in their head, they pull out their mobile device and Google your company. Bam you have business. Branding your company should be the first thing you do when starting a business.
There are so many challenges to designing a brochure but also so many opportunities to be creative and stand out from the sea of brochure designs. Almost every business has a brochure (or should) and that greatest challenges is probably the challenge to stand out from the crowd of brochures.
I have to say that designing brochures is not the most exciting thing for me. I love a challenge but it just seems less than exciting to design a brochure but they are such a great staple marketing need for every business. It is exciting when you can get creative with the folds or cut outs in the design but not everyone’s budget can allow for that kind of added printing expense. Here is where the challenge begins.
When designing a brochure you have to balance the visual layout with the “information” content. When people are thumbing through a brochure you have to be mindful of where the information is and how the eye flows across the page. Think about leading them with the graphics to each important point you want to bring out about your business.
Using color is important. Don’t be afraid to use large images that bleed over across panels. This will bring the whole design together across the brochure and encourage people to continue reading throughout the information. Also remember to pull out information and make it special. One of the ways to do this might be a “block quote”. You want to think of creative ways to pull out key points you want people to see that might draw them in to read more in the brochure.
Here are logo variations I presented to Kimberly. I had so much fun working on these designs to present an array.
It was interesting trying to combine all of the fun, energetic performer personality she has into a logo. She has picked one of these so I will show you the final designs soon.
Let me know what you think in the comments below. Also be sure to go visit me on Facebook and like my page to stay up to date on the latest at Emily Jean Design!
Staying “creative” all the time can sometimes get exhausting. If you aren’t careful you start to pull from the same memory bank and your work can begin to look the same. It is important for us as designers to keep our creativity bank full.
I have compiled a list of things that helps me stay in a creative mindset when everything in life gets to be too much.
< 1 > Pinterest
This one is probably a given but it can’t not be on the top of my list.
< 2 > Music (spice it up keep it fresh)
Explore new music to spur on the creativity. I always love to mix up my playlists while I am working.
< 3 > Design Between Projects (during the dry moment)
When we aren’t working on a project we think of that as a “break” but now is when you should explore new techniques and learn new things. Who knows you might be inspired and learn something that will help you in further projects plus it is always good to learn new skills in your craft.
< 4 > Sketch/Draw/Paint
Even if it is just doodling you should always bring to life the ideas in your head. I don’t know about you but every now and then I have a random design pop in my head. I always keep a sketch book with me so I can sketch it out. This will help you keep that creative process and encourages your brain to continue thinking up amazing designs. You never know where a simple sketch might lead.
Draw and/or paint to keep your creative insides alive. There is a part of us that is engaged when we are drawing and painting. As your playing with mixing colors and forming shapes with graphite you keep that part of your brain working and creating.
< 5 > Don’t Overwork Yourself.
This one is something that I am still working on. I am still working on finding a balance and learning to say no. It is an important thing to find a balance in order to keep the creative juices flowing. Creativity gets stifled when we are overwhelmed with too much on our plates.
< 6 > Eating Healthy/Staying Hydrated/Exercise
There is nothing worse than getting dizzy or a headache while you are in the middle of a project and your on a timeline trying to get the final product to a client. Staying hydrated and eating healthy can help keep your mind open and all the synapses firing correctly.
We all know thanks to Elle Woods “Endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t kill their husbands.” Well endorphins also keep that creativity flowing. So lace up those kicks and hit your favorite cardio or weight training program. My favorites are running and zumba!
< 7 > Research/Bookstores
Sometimes just looking things up and learning spawns great ideas. I love to go to bookstores and browse through books (mainly the cover designs) and magazines. Bookstores are great for typography and layout inspiration as well.
< 8 > Travel
Traveling opens our eyes to things outside of what we know in our own community. I am not saying you have to travel to exotic locations. Going to the next town over can be all you need to spark some creative ideas. Sometimes we have to shut the computer and go outside. So, let’s go explore!
< 9 > Do something fun/Be with the people you love
Be sure to take breaks and do things for you. Whatever that might be. Hanging out with friends/family. Doing something you love to do. To keep creativity flowing we have to have things that make us happy. From that happiness comes the ability to think creatively.
< 10 > Remember to think Positive
Creativity is in our mind and keeping the mind healthy is one of the most important thing. Keep positive thoughts in mind. Remember you can do anything your mind can dream. If you can think it then you can make it! A friend has a great blog and free download of “Good Vibes” Positive words to think and confess. Read her blog here.
Maybe it’s because I know everything inside my mind. #nofilter
Trying to design for yourself and brand your own logo is much harder than designing for someone else. You would think it would be easy, who knows me better than me right? But that is the problem I really know me. All of me, all the things I like, which contradicts each other sometimes. When designing and branding for someone else I am able to see the traits that stick out. What makes them…..them. When I try to turn it around on me there is no filter to see just what stands out. Anyone else feel the same.
So let me share with you some tricks I used to help me design for myself.
<1> Do something.
So often we wait and wait until it is “right” before we actually do something. It is ok to change your mind and redo it later. Knowing that it is changeable in your mind before you start gives a sense of freedom to just do whatever comes and let it evolve. You have to start somewhere or you’ll never get anywhere. (that’s quotable…I probably heard/read that somewhere)
<2> People around you.
The ones best to be able to see what makes you stand out are those that are around you day to day. Ask the people around you how they would describe you. What they would say stands out when they think about you. Ask them “If you were to describe the type of person I am to a stranger what would you say?” Use the words they use to help you pinpoint the look and style that best represents you.
Look at the things you pin on boards that are just about you. (Not design or client boards because chances are they will be to varied) Look at it and ask yourself does this say “me”? If yes then think for a moment what about it says “you”. Is it the colors? The textures? Fonts? Layout? If you have someone in your life that you know would know you and be able to find images that display “who you are” you could have them pin images on a secret pin board to help you see what others see. I had my cousin pin any image she saw on Pinterest that made her think of me and it really helped me see (in the images) the common thread throughout the images.
Again, ask the people around you to give you the adjectives that would best describe your personality. This is always a good one for me. I use this trick with clients because I find the adjectives really help me see a good picture of the look and feel a person is going for. Hearing the adjectives that people tell you might be just what you need to really put your finger on the look and feel that best suits you.
<5> The Process
Trust the design process. Go through the Design Process just like you would if you were creating a brand for someone else and take all of the above tips to help you guide through. Don’t overthink it. Just go for it.
Comment below and let me know your tips and tricks for designing for yourself? Have you ever tried designing for your own brand? How did you feel during the process? Let me know in the comments below.
Also comment with anything that you would like me to write about. If you have any specific questions about design or otherwise comment below and let me know (that rhymed 🙂 hehe)
Me? Oh what a question.
I am a girl that loves great designs. Gets lost for hours in the endless beauty of Pinterest (who doesn’t). I am always double fisting multiple coffees. I don’t think there is ever a time that I am not doing something. I love being involved in things. Anything with creativity involved.
In high school I was set on going to college to study theatre. All I ever wanted was to be on the stage or on the screen. (that is still my top dream) All through school I had a love for fine arts but it took a back seat to acting. In college I found myself looking forward to my art classes more than I ever have before. Started out as a painting major and made my professor sad when I turned to graphic design. I realized if I am going to spend money on something I need to challenge myself and learn something I don’t know. My first year in design school I didn’t even know how to log out of a MAC. (to my defense this was back in early MySpace days, facebook wasn’t even popular yet) When I started design school Mac’s were rarely used by anyone other than creative professionals. That quickly changed.
I loved design. I found myself changing into a more detailed person and dissecting the leading and kerning, layout, design, and color harmonies of everything around me.
I have been a freelance designer now for 4 years. I love the freedom of working with clients and designing for a variety of projects. Working as a freelancer has allowed me the opportunity to do other things as well. I have been working the last 4 years with my families child care center as a teacher, director and now the business manager. I love the creativity of teaching early childhood education. I hope to share with you some of the things I have learned in my time with the precious little ones.
Currently I am now working, still, as a freelance graphic designer, and Business Manager for Fruitful Ministries. Each day is filled with new things. Life in my world is never dull and never listless. I love my day planner, charts, and calendars.
The best day is hanging out with friends and family talking about and planning new exciting projects. With a cup of coffee in hand of course.
I am currently moving into a new office and thinking through a redesign.
Moving into a new office can be overwhelming and exciting. I have compiled a wish list of a few things that I am dreaming of for my redesign for my new office. I started out with a color palette to help guide the redesign and then hit the Inspiration sites. Created a pin board for inspiration. I have shown a few of my favorite pieces that I am wanting for my office. I am loving the pastels lately and I always feel more inspired to be creative in a bright environment so I am opting for white walls. I love the contrast of the black and white with the pastels. The clean geometric pattern I think will create a nice clean environment for a work space.
What are your favorite pieces in your work space? Do you have anything in your office that you can’t work without?
Have you ever had one of those moments when it just hits you and you realize that there is actually a world out there with different people going through things you have never been through, or having different opinions about life than you? *GASP*
It is a healthy thing to constantly be reminded that there is more than just the opinions we have and the view we see through our two eyes.
When you can sit down and have coffee with someone and listen to stories of things they have been through you are being enriched with more than you realize. I think too many people in the world these days are too concerned with their own life situations and concerns that we don’t take the time to stop and listen to someone else. Really getting to know what they think and how they think. We can learn so much from each other and possibly be enlightened with new ideas because we all have a unique perspective.
I think the culture we live in and the technology constantly increasing has caused humanity to be so overwhelmed and overstimulated to the point we find it hard to actually stop and just listen to one another.
I personally have a brain that probably functions on 3 pathways. I am constantly thinking all the time about 3 different things at the same time. I am not sure if that is normal, but I can tell you I never get bored. Because of my constant thinking I have to be sure to discipline my brain and make it stop thinking about the massive to do list on my iPhone and really listen and get interested in the person across the table.
I am challenging you to really try to stop and listen the next time you are with someone. Ask questions and really try to learn where that person came from, what do they think about life around us. It’s eye opening at times to hear the stories other people have experienced and it really helps you to understand who they are and why they do the things they do. Relationships with one another are the most important things we do as humans. The best way to build strong relationships is to be able to put aside what you think and feel and really listen to each other to understand each other. Humbling ourself enough to really listen.